Thursday, May 31, 2018

Convert, Apologist, Describes 2nd Century Mass, Martyr, Saint

St. Justin Martyr

Image of St. Justin Martyr


Feastday: June 1
Birth: 100
Death: 165

Christian apologist, born at Flavia Neapolis, about A.D. 100, converted to Christianity about A.D. 130, taught and defended the Christian religion in Asia Minor and at Rome, where he suffered martyrdom about the year 165. Two "Apologies" bearing his name and his "Dialogue with the Jew Tryphon" have come down to us. Leo XIII had a Mass and an Office composed in his honour and set his feast for 14 April.


Among the Fathers of the second century his life is the best known, and from the most authentic documents. In both "Apologies" and in his "Dialogue" he gives many personal details, e.g. about his studies in philosophy and his conversion; they are not, however, an autobiography, but are partly idealized, and it is necessary to distinguish in them between poetry and truth; they furnish us however with several precious and reliable clues. For his martyrdom we have documents of undisputed authority. In the first line of his "Apology" he calls himself "Justin, the son of Priscos, son of Baccheios, of Flavia Neapolis, in Palestinian Syria". Flavia Neapolis, his native town, founded by Vespasian (A.D. 72), was built on the site of a place called Mabortha, or Mamortha, quite near Sichem (Guérin, "Samarie", I, Paris, 1874, 390-423; Schürer, "History of the Jewish People", tr., I, Edinburgh, 1885). Its inhabitants were all, or for the most part, pagans. The names of the father and grandfather of Justin suggest a pagan origin, and he speaks of himself as uncircumcised (Dialogue, xxviii). The date of his birth is uncertain, but would seem to fall in the first years of the second century. He received a good education in philosophy, an account of which he gives us at the beginning of his "Dialogue with the Jew Tryphon"; he placed himself first under a Stoic, but after some time found that he had learned nothing about God and that in fact his master had nothing to teach him on the subject. A Peripatetic whom he then found welcomed him at first but afterwards demanded a fee from him; this proved that he was not a philosopher. A Pythagorean refused to teach him anything until he should have learned music, astronomy, and geometry. Finally a Platonist arrived on the scene and for some time delighted Justin. This account cannot be taken too literally; the facts seem to be arranged with a view to showing the weakness of the pagan philosophies and of contrasting them with the teachings of the Prophets and of Christ. The main facts, however, may be accepted; the works of Justin seem to show just such a philosophic development as is here described, Eclectic, but owing much to Stoicism and more to Platonism. He was still under the charm of the Platonistic philosophy when, as he walked one day along the seashore, he met a mysterious old man; the conclusion of their long discussion was that he soul could not arrive through human knowledge at the idea of God, but that it needed to be instructed by the Prophets who, inspired by the Holy Ghost, had known God and could make Him known ("Dialogue", iii, vii; cf. Zahm, "Dichtung and Wahrheit in Justins Dialog mit dem Jeden Trypho" in "Zeitschr. für Kirchengesch.", VIII, 1885-1886, 37-66).
The "Apologies" throw light on another phase of the conversion of Justin: "When I was a disciple of Plato", he writes, "hearing the accusations made against the Christians and seeing them intrepid in the face of death and of all that men fear, I said to myself that it was impossible that they should be living in evil and in the love of pleasure" (II Apol., xviii, 1). Both accounts exhibit the two aspects of Christianity that most strongly influenced St. Justin; in the "Apologies" he is moved by its moral beauty (I Apol., xiv), in the "Dialogue" by its truth. His conversion must have taken place at the latest towards A.D. 130, since St. Justin places during the war of Bar-Cocheba (132-135) the interview with the Jew Tryphon, related in his "Dialogue". This interview is evidently not described exactly as it took place, and yet the account cannot be wholly fictitious. Tryphon, according to Eusebius (Hist. eccl., IV, xviii, 6), was "the best known Jew of that time", which description the historian may have borrowed from the introduction to the "Dialogue", now lost. It is possible to identify in a general way this Tryphon with the Rabbi Tarphon often mentioned in the Talmud (Schürer, "Gesch. d. Jud. Volkes", 3rd ed., II, 377 seq., 555 seq., cf., however, Herford, "Christianity in Talmud and Midrash", London, 1903, 156). The place of the interview is not definitely told, but Ephesus is clearly enough indicated; the literary setting lacks neither probability nor life, the chance meetings under the porticoes, the groups of curious onlookers who stop a while and then disperse during the inteviews, offer a vivid picture of such extemporary conferences. St. Justin lived certainly some time at Ephesus; the Acts of his martyrdom tell us that he went to Rome twice and lived "near the baths of Timothy with a man named Martin". He taught school there, and in the aforesaid Acts of his martyrdom we read of several of his disciples who were condemned with him.
In his second "Apology" (iii) Justin says: "I, too, expect to be persecuted and to be crucified by some of those whom I have named, or by Crescens, that friend of noise and of ostentation." Indeed Tatian relates (Discourse, xix) that the Cynic philosopher Crescens did pursue him and Justin; he does not tell us the result and, moreover, it is not certain that the "Discourse" of Tatian was written after the death of Justin. Eusebius (Hist. eccl., IV, xvi, 7, 8) says that it was the intrigues of Crescens which brought about the death of Justin; this is credible, but not certain; Eusebius has apparently no other reason for affirming it than the two passages cited above from Justin and Tatian. St. Justin was condemned to death by the prefect, Rusticus, towards A.D. 165, with six companions, Chariton, Charito, Evelpostos, Pćon, Hierax, and Liberianos. We still have the authentic account of their martyrdom ("Acta SS.", April, II, 104-19; Otto, "Corpus Apologetarum", III, Jena, 1879, 266-78; P. G., VI, 1565-72). The examination ends as follows:
"The Prefect Rusticus says: Approach and sacrifice, all of you, to the gods. Justin says: No one in his right mind gives up piety for impiety. The Prefect Rusticus says: If you do not obey, you will be tortured without mercy. Justin replies: That is our desire, to be tortured for Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and so to be saved, for that will give us salvation and firm confidence at the more terrible universal tribunal of Our Lord and Saviour. And all the martyrs said: Do as you wish; for we are Christians, and we do not sacrifice to idols. The Prefect Rusticus read the sentence: Those who do not wish to sacrifice to the gods and to obey the emperor will be scourged and beheaded according to the laws. The holy martyrs glorifying God betook themselves to the customary place, where they were beheaded and consummated their martyrdom confessing their Saviour."


Justin was a voluminous and important writer. He himself mentions a "Treatise against Heresy" (I Apology, xxvi, 8); St. Irenćus (Adv. Hćr., IV, vi, 2) quotes a "Treatise against Marcion" which may have been only a part of the preceding work. Eusebius mentions both (Hist. eccl., IV, xi, 8-10), but does not seem to have read them himself; a little further on (IV, xviii) he gives the following list of Justin's works: "Discourse in favour of our Faith to Antoninus Pius, to his sons, and to the Roman Senate"; an "Apology" addressed to Marcus Aurelius; "Discourse to the Greeks"; another discourse called "A Refutation"; "Treatise on the Divine Monarchy"; a book called "The Psalmist"; "Treatise on the soul"; "Dialogue against the Jews", which he had in the city of Ephesus with Tryphon, the most celebrated Israelite of that time. Eusebius adds that many more of his books are to be found in the hands of the brethren. Later writers add nothing certain to this list, itself possibly not altogether reliable. There are extant but three works of Justin, of which the authenticity is assured: the two "Apologies" and the "Dialogue". They are to be found in two manuscripts: Paris gr. 450, finished on 11 September, 1364; and Claromont. 82, written in 1571, actually at Cheltenham, in the possession of M.T.F. Fenwick. The second is only a copy of the first, which is therefore our sole authority; unfortunately this manuscript is very imperfect (Harnack, "Die Ueberlieferung der griech. Apologeten" in "Texte and Untersuchungen", I, Leipzig, 1883, i, 73-89; Archambault, "Justin, Dialogue a vec Tryphon", Paris, 1909, p. xii-xxxviii). There are many large gaps in this manuscript, thus II Apol., ii, is almost entirely wanting, but it has been found possible to restore the manuscript text from a quotation of Eusebius (Hist. eccl., IV, xvii). The "Dialogue" was dedicated to a certain Marcus Pompeius (exli, viii); it must therefore have been preceded by a dedicatory epistle and probably by an introduction or preface; both are lacking. In the seventy-fourth chapter a large part must also be missing, comprising the end of the first book and the beginning of the second (Zahn, "Zeitschr. f. Kirchengesch.", VIII, 1885, 37 sq., Bardenhewer, "Gesch. der altkirchl. Litter.", I, Freiburg im Br., 1902, 210). There are other less important gaps and many faulty transcriptions. There being no other manuscript, the correction of this one is very difficult; conjectures have been often quite unhappy, and Krüger, the latest editor of the "Apology", has scarsely done more than return to the text of the manuscript.
In the manuscript the three works are found in the following order: second "Apology", first "Apology", the "Dialogue". Dom Maran (Paris, 1742) re-established the original order, and all other editors have followed him. There could not be as a matter of fact any doubt as to the proper order of the "Apologies", the first is quoted in the second (iv, 2; vi, 5; viii, 1). The form of these references shows that Justin is referring, not to a different work, but to that which he was then writing (II Apol., ix, 1, cf. vii, 7; I Apol., lxiii, 16, cf. xxxii, 14; lxiii, 4, cf. xxi,1;lxi, 6, cf. lxiv, 2). Moreover, the second "Apology" is evidently not a complete work independent of the first, but rather an appendix, owing to a new fact that came to the writer's knowledge, and which he wished to utilize without recasting both works. It has been remarked that Eusebius often alludes to the second "Apology" as the first (Hist. eccl., IV, viii, 5; IV, xvii, 1), but the quotations from Justin by Eusebius are too inexact for us to attach much value to this fact (cf. Hist. eccl., IV, xi, 8; Bardenhewer, op. cit., 201). Probably Eusebius also erred in making Justin write one apology under Antoninus (161) and another under Marcus Aurelius. The second "Apology", known to no other author, doubtless never existed (Bardenhewer, loc. cit.; Harnack, "Chronologie der christl. Litter.", I, Leipzig, 1897, 275). The date of the "Apology" cannot be determined by its dedication, which is not certain, but can be established with the aid of the following facts: it is 150 years since the birth of Christ (I, xlvi, 1); Marcion has already spread abroad his error (I, xxvi, 5); now, according to Epiphanius (Hćres., xlii, 1), he did not begin to teach until after the death of Hyginus (A.D. 140). The Prefect of Egypt, Felix (I, xxix, 2), occupied this charge in September, 151, probably from 150 to about 154 (Grenfell-Hunt, "Oxyrhinchus Papyri", II, London, 1899, 163, 175; cf. Harnack, "Theol. Literaturzeitung", XXII, 1897, 77). From all of this we may conclude that the "Apology" was written somewhere between 153 and 155. The second "Apology", as already said, is an appendix to the first and must have been written shortly afterwards. The Prefect Urbinus mentioned in it was in charge from 144 to 160. The "Dialogue" is certainly later than the "Apology" to which it refers ("Dial.", cxx, cf. "I Apol.", xxvi); it seems, moreover, from this same reference that the emperors to whom the "Apology" was addressed were still living when the "Dialogue" was written. This places it somewhere before A.D. 161, the date of the death of Antoninus.
The "Apology" and the "Dialogue" are difficult to analyse, for Justin's method of composition is free and capricious, and defies our habitual rules of logic. The content of the first "Apology" (Viel, "Justinus des Phil. Rechtfertigung", Strasburg, 1894, 58 seq.) is somewhat as follows:
  • i-iii: exordium to the emperors: Justin is about to enlighten them and free himself of responsibility, which will now be wholly theirs.
  • iv-xii: first part or introduction:
  • the anti-Christian procedure is iniquitous: they persecute in the Christians a name only (iv, v);
  • Christians are neither Atheists nor criminals (vi, vii);
  • they allow themselves to be killed rather than deny their God (viii);
  • they refuse to adore idols (ix, xii);
  • conclusion (xii).
  • xiii-lxvii: Second part (exposition and demonstration of Christianity):
  • Christians adore the crucified Christ, as well as God (xiii);
  • Christ is their Master; moral precepts (xiv-xvii);
  • the future life, judgement, etc. (xviii-xx).
  • Christ is the Incarnate Word (xxi-lx);
  • comparison with pagan heroes, Hermes, Ćsculapius, etc. (xxi-xxii);
  • superiority of Christ and of Christianity before Christ (xlvi).
  • The similarities that we find in the pagan worship and philosophy come from the devils (liv-lx).
  • Description of Christian worship: baptism (lxi);
  • the Eucharist (lxv-lxvi);
  • Sunday-observance (lxvii).
Second "Apology":
  • Recent injustice of the Prefect Urbinus towards the Christians (i-iii).
  • Why it is that God permits these evils: Providence, human liberty, last judgement (iv-xii).
The "Dialogue" is much longer than the two apologies taken together ("Apol." I and II in P.G., VI, 328-469; "Dial.", ibid., 472-800), the abundance of exegetical discussions makes any analysis particularly difficult. The following points are noteworthy:
  • i-ix. Introduction: Justin gives the story of his philosophic education and of this conversion. One may know God only through the Holy Ghost; the soul is not immortal by its nature; to know truth it is necessary to study the Prophets.
  • x-xxx: On the law. Tryphon reproaches the Christians for not observing the law. Justin replies that according to the Prophets themselves the law should be abrogated, it had only been given to the Jews on account of their hardness. Superiority of the Christian circumcision, necessary even for the Jews. The eternal law laid down by Christ.
  • xxxi-cviii: On Christ: His two comings (xxxi sqq.); the law a figure of Christ (xl-xlv); the Divinity and the pre-existence of Christ proved above all by the Old Testament apparitions (theophanies) (lvi-lxii); incarnation and virginal conception (lxv sqq.); the death of Christ foretold (lxxxvi sqq.); His resurrection (cvi sqq.).
  • viii to the end: On the Christians. The conversion of the nations foretold by the Prophets (cix sqq.); Christians are a holier people than the Jews (cxix sqq.); the promises were made to them (cxxi); they were prefigured in the Old Testament (cxxxiv sqq.). The "Dialogue" concludes with wishes for the conversion of the Jews.
Besides these authentic works we possess others under Justin's name that are doubtful or apocryphal.
  • "On the Resurrection" (for its numerous fragments see Otto, "Corpus Apolog.", 2nd ed., III, 210-48 and the "Sacra Parallela", Holl, "Fragmente vornicänischer Kirchenväter aus den Sacra Parallela" in "Texte und Untersuchungen", new series, V, 2, Leipzig, 1899, 36-49). The treatise from which these fragments are taken was attributed to St. Justin by St. Methodius (early fourth century) and was quoted by St. Irenćus and Tertullian, who do not, however, name the author. The attribution of the fragments to Justin is therefore probable (Harnack, "Chronologie", 508; Bousset, "Die Evangeliencitaten Justins", Göttingen, 1891, 123sq.; archambault, "Le témoignage de l'ancienne littérature Chrétienne sur l'authenticité d'un traité sur la resurrection attribué ŕ Justin l'Apologiste" in "Revue de Philologie", XXIX, 1905, 73-93). The chief interest of these fragments consists in the introduction, where is explained with much force the transcendent nature of faith and the proper nature of its motives.
  • "A Discourse to the Greeks" (Otto, op. cit., III, 1, 2, 18), an apocryphal tract, dated by Harnack (Sitzungsberichte der k. preuss. Akad. d. Wiss. zu Berlin, 1896, 627-46), about A.D. 180-240. Later it was altered and enlarged in Syriac: text and English translation by Cureton, "Spicileg. Syr.", London, 1855, 38-42, 61-69.
  • "Exhortation to the Greeks" (Otto, op. cit., 18-126). The authenticity of this has been defended without success by Widman ("Die Echtheit der Mahnrede Justins an die Heiden", Mainz, 1902); Puech, "Sur lelogos parainetikos attribué ŕ Justin" in "Mélanges Weil", Paris, 1898, 395-406, dates it about 260-300, but most critics say, with more probability, A.D. 180-240 (Gaul, "Die Abfassungsverhältnisse der pseudojustinischen Cohortatio ad Grćcos", Potsdam, 1902).
  • "On Monarchy" (Otto, op. cit., 126-158), tract of uncertain date, in which are freely quoted Greek poets altered by some Jew.
  • "Exposition of the Faith" (Otto, op. cit., IV, 2-66), a dogmatic treatise on the Trinity and the Incarnation preserved in two copies the longer of which seems the more ancient. It is quoted for the first time by Leontius of Byzantium (d. 543) and refers to the Christological discussions of the fifth century; it seems, therefore, to date from the second half of that century.
  • "Letter to Zenas and Serenus" (Otto, op. cit., 66-98), attributed by Batiffol in "Revue Biblique", VI, 1896, 114-22, to Sisinnios, the Novatian Bishop of Constantinople about A.D. 400.
  • "Answers to the Orthodox."
  • "The Christian's Questions to the Greeks."
  • "The Greek's Questions to the Christians."
  • "Refutation of certain Aristotelean theses" (Otto, op. cit., IV, 100-222; V, 4-366).
The "Answers to the Orthodox" was re-edited in a different and more primitive form by Papadopoulos-Kerameus (St. Petersburg, 1895), from a Constantinople manuscript which ascribed the work to Theodoret. Though this ascription was adopted by the editor, it has not been generally accepted. Harnack has studied profoundly these four books and maintains, not without probability, that they are the work of Diodorus of Tarsus (Harnack, "Diodor von Tarsus., vier pseudojustinische Schriften als Eigentum Diodors nachgewiesen" in "Texte und Untersuch.", XII, 4, Leipzig, 1901).


The only pagan quotations to be found in Justin's works are from Homer, Euripides, Xenophon, Menander, and especially Plato (Otto, II, 593 sq.). His philosophic development has been well estimated by Purves ("The Testimony of Justin Martyr to early Christianity", London, 1882, 132): "He appears to have been a man of moderate culture. He was certainly not a genius nor an original thinker." A true eclectic, he draws inspiration from different systems, especially from Stoicism and Platonism. Weizsäcker (Jahrbücher f. Protest. Theol., XII, 1867, 75) thought he recognized a Peripatetic idea, or inspiration, in his conception of God as immovable above the heavens (Dial., cxxvii); it is much more likely an idea borrowed from Alexandrian Judaism, and one which furnished a very efficacious argument to Justin in his anti-Jewish polemic. In the Stoics Justin admires especially their ethics (II Apol., viii, 1); he willingly adopts their theory of a universal conflagration (ekpyrosis). In I Apol., xx, lx; II, vii, he adopts, but at the same time transforms, their concept of the seminal Word (logos spermatikos). However, he condemns their Fatalism (II Apol., vii) and their Atheism (Dial., ii). His sympathies are above all with Platonism. He likes to compare it with Christanity; apropos of the last judgment, he remarks, however (I Apol., viii, 4), that according to Plato the punishment will last a thousand years, whereas according to the Christians it will be eternal; speaking of creation (I Apol., xx, 4; lix), he says that Plato borrowed from Moses his theory of formless matter; similarly he compares Plato and Christianity apropos of human responsibility (I Apol., xliv, 8) and the Word and the Spirit (I Apol., lx). However, his acquaintance with Plato was superficial; like his contemporaries (Philo, Plutarch, St. Hippolytus), he found his chief inspiration in the Timćus. Some historians have pretended that pagan philosophy entirely dominated Justin's Christianity (Aubé, "S. Justin", Paris, 1861), or at least weakened it (Engelhardt, "Das Christentum Justins des Märtyrers", Erlangen, 1878). To appreciate fairly this influence it is necessary to remember that in his "Apology" Justin is seeking above all the points of contact between Hellenism and Christianity. It would certainly be wrong to conclude from the first "Apology" (xxii) that Justin actually likens Christ to the pagan heroes of semi-heroes, Hermes, Perseus, or Ćsculapius; neither can we conclude from his first "Apology" (iv, 8 or vii, 3, 4) that philosophy played among the Greeks the same role that Christianity did among the barbarians, but only that their position and their reputation were analogous.
In many passages, however, Justin tries to trace a real bond between philosophy and Christianity: according to him both the one and the other have a part in the Logos, partially disseminated among men and wholly manifest in Jesus Christ (I, v, 4; I, xlvi; II, viii; II, xiii, 5, 6). The idea developed in all these passages is given in the Stoic form, but this gives to its expression a greater worth. For the Stoics the seminal Word (logos spermatikos) is the form of every being; here it is the reason inasmuch as it partakes of God. This theory of the full participation in the Divine Word (Logos) by the sage has its full value only in Stoicism (see LOGOS). In Justin thought and expression are antithetic, and this lends a certain incoherence to the theory; the relation established between the integral Word, i.e. Jesus Christ, and the partial Word disseminated in the world, is more specious than profound. Side by side with this theory, and quite different in its origin and scope, we find in Justin, as in most of his contemporaries, the conviction that Greek philosophy borrowed from the Bible: it was by stealing from Moses and the Prophets that Plato and the other philosophers developed their doctrines (I, xliv, lix, ls). Despite the obscurities and incoherences of this thought, he affirms clearly and positively the transcendent character of Christianity: "Our doctrine surpasses all human doctrine because the real Word became Christ who manifested himself for us, body, word and soul." (II, Apol., x, 1.) This Divine origin assures Christianity an absolute truth (II, xiii, 2) and gives to the Christians complete confidence; they die for Christ's doctrine; no one died for that of Socrates (II, x, 8). The first chapters of the "Dialogue" complete and correct these ideas. In them the rather complaisant syncretism of the "Apology" disappears, and the Christian thought is stronger.
Justin's chief reproach to the philosophers is their mutual divisions; he attributes this to the pride of the heads of sects and the servile acquiesence of their adherents; he also says a little later on (vi): "I care neither for Plato nor for Pythagoras." From it all he concludes that for the pagans philosophy is not a serious or profound thing; life does not depend on it, nor action: "Thou art a friend of discourse", says the old man to him before his conversion, "but not of action nor of truth" (iv). For Platonism he retained a kindly feeling as for a study dear in childhood or in youth. Yet he attacks it on two essential points: the relation between God and man, and the nature of the soul (Dial., iii, vi). Nevertheless he still seems influenced by it in his conception of the Divine transcendency and the interpretation that he gives to the aforesaid theophanies.
That which Justin despairs of attaining through philosophy he is now sure of possessing through Jewish and Christian revelation. He admits that the soul can naturally comprehend that God is, just as it understands that virtue is beautiful (Dial., iv) but he denies that the soul without the assistance of the Holy Ghost can see God or contemplate Him directly through ecstasy, as the Platonic philosophers contended. And yet this knowledge of God is necessary for us: "We cannot know God as we know music, arithmetic or astronomy" (iii); it is necessary for us to know God not with an abstract knowledge but as we know any person with whom we have relations. Thr problem which it seems impossible to solve is settled by revelation; God has spoken directly to the Prophets, who in their turn have made Him known to us (viii). It is the first time in Christian theology that we find so concise an explanation of the difference which separates Christian revelation from human speculation. It does away with the confusion that might arise from the theory, taken from the "Apology", of the partial Logos and the Logos absolute or entire.

A. The Old Testament

For Philo the Bible is bery particularly the Pentateuch (Ryle, "Philo and Holy Scripture", XVII, London, 1895, 1-282). In keeping with the difference of his purpose, Justin has other preferences. He quotes the Pentateuch often and liberally, especially Genesis, Exodus, and Deuteronomy; but he quotes still more frequently and at greater length the Psalms and the Books of Prophecy -- above all, Isaias. The Books of Wisdom are seldom quoted, the historical books still less. The books that we never find in his works are Judges, Esdras (except one passage which is attributed to him by mistake-Dial., lxxii), Tobias, Judith, Ester, Canticles, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Abdias, Nahum, Habacuc, Sophonias, Aggeus. It has been noticed, too (St. John Thackeray in "Journ. of Theol. Study", IV, 1903, 265, n.3), that he never cites the last chapters of Jeremias (apropos of the first "Apology", xlvii, Otto is wrong in his reference to Jer., 1, 3). Of these omissions the most noteworthy is that of Wisdom, precisely on account of the similarity of ideas. It is to be noted, moreover, that this book, surely used in the New Testament, cited by St. Clement of Rome (xxvii, 5) and later by St. Irenćus (Eusebius, Hist. eccl., V, xxvi), is never met with in the works of the apologists (the reference of Otto to Tatian, vii, is inexact). On the other hand one finds in Justin some apocryphal texts: pseudo-Esdras (Dial., lxxii), pseudo-Jeremias (ibid.), Ps. xevi (xcv), 10 (Dial., lxxii; I Apol., xli); sometimes also errors in ascribing quotations: Zacharias for Malachias (Dial., xlix), Osee for Zacharias for Malachias (Dial., xiv). For the Biblical text of Justin, see Swete, "Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek", Cambridge, 1902, 417-24.

B. The New Testament

The testimony of Justin is here of still greater importance, especially for the Gospels, and has been more often discussed. The historical side of the question is given by W. Bousset, "Die Evangeliencitaten Justins" (Göttingen, 1891), 1-12, and since then, by Baldus, "Das Verhältniss Justins der Märt. zu unseren synopt. Evangelien" (Münster, 1895); Lippelt, "Quć fuerint Justini mart. apomnemoneumata quaque ratione cum forma Evangeliorum syro-latina cohćserint" (Halle, 1901). The books quoted by Justin are called by him "Memoirs of the Apostles". This term, otherwise very rare, appears in Justin quite probably as an analogy with the "Memorabilia" of Xenophon (quoted in "II Apol.", xi, 3) and from a desire to accommodate his language to the habits of mind of his readers. At any rate it seems that henceforth the word "gospels" was in current usage; it is in Justin that we find it for the first time used in the plural, "the Apostles in their memoirs that are called gospels" (I Apol., lxvi, 3). These memoirs have authority, not only because they relate the words of Our Lord (as Bossuet contends, op. cit., 16 seq.), but because, even in their narrative parts, they are considered as Scripture (Dial., xlix, citing Matt., xvii, 13). This opinion of Justin is upheld, moreover, by the Church who, in her public service reads the memoirs of the Apostles as well as the writings of the prophets (I Apol., lxvii, 3). These memoirs were composed by the Apostles and by those who followed them (Dial., ciii); he refers in all probability to the four Evangelists, i.e. to two Apostles and two disciples of Christ (Stanton, "New Testament Canon" in Hastings, "Dictionary of the Bible", III, 535). The authors, however, are not named: once (Dial., ciii) he mentions the "memoirs of Peter", but the text is very obscure and uncertain (Bousset, op. cit., 18).
All facts of the life of Christ that Justin takes from these memoirs are found indeed in our Gospels (Baldus, op. cit., 13 sqq.); he adds to them a few other and less important facts (I Apol., xxxii; xxxv; Dial., xxxv, xlvii, li, lxxviii), but he does not assert that he found them in the memoirs. It is quite probable that Justin used a concordance, or harmony, in which were united the three synoptic Gospels (Lippelt, op. cit., 14, 94) and it seems that the text of this concordance resembled in more than one point the so-called Western text of the Gospels (cf. ibid., 97). Justin's dependence on St. John is indisputably established by the facts which he takes from Him (I Apol., lxi, 4, 5; Dial., lxix, lxxxviii), still more by the very striking similarity in vocabulary and doctrine. It is certain, however, that Justin does not use the fourth Gospel as abundantly as he does the others (Purves, op. cit., 233); this may be owing to the aforesaid concordance, or harmony, of the synoptic Gospels. He seems to use the apocryphal Gospel of Peter (I Apol., xxxv, 6; cf. Dial., ciii; Revue Biblique, III, 1894, 531 sqq.; Harnack, "Bruchstücke des Evang. des Petrus", Leipzig, 1893, 37). His dependence on the Protevangelium of James (Dial., lxxviii) doubtful.

Apologetical method

Justin's attitude towards philosophy, described above, reveals at once the tendency of his polemics; he never exibits the indignation of a Tatian or even of a Tertullian. To the hideous calumnies spread abroad against the Christians he sometimes answers, as do the other apologists, by taking the offensive and attacking pagan morality (I Apol., xxvii; II, xii, 4, 5), but he dislikes to insist on these calumnies: the interlocutor in the "Dialogue" (ix) he is careful to ignore those who would trouble him with their loud laughter. He has not the eloquence of Tertullian, and can obtain a hearing only in a small circle of men capable of understanding reason and of being moved by an idea. His chief argument, and one calculated to convert this hearers as it had converted him (II Apol., xii), is the great new fact of Christian morality. He speaks of men and women who have no fear of death (I Apol., ii, xi, xlv; II, ii; Dial., xxx), who prefer truth to life (I Apol., ii; II, iv) and are yet ready to await the time allotted by God (II, iv1); he makes known their devotion to their children (I, xxvii), their charity even towards their enemies, and their desire to save them (I Apol., lvii; Dial., cxxxiii), their patience and their prayers in persecution (Dial., xviii), their love of mankind (Dial., xciii, cx). When he contrasts the life that they led in paganism with their Christian life (I Apol., xiv), he expresses the same feeling of deliverance and exaltation as did St. Paul (I Cor., vi, II). He is careful, moreover, to emphasize, especially from the Sermon on the Mount, the moral teaching of Christ so as to show in it the real source of these new virtues (I Apol., xv-xviii). Throughout his exposé of the new religion it is Christian chastity and the courage of the martyrs that he most insists upon.
The rational evidences of Christianity Justin finds especially in the prophecies; he gives to this argument more than a third of his "Apology" (xxx-liii) and almost the entire "Dialogue". When he is disputing with the pagans he is satisfied with drawing attention to the fact that the books of the Prophets were long anterior to Christ, guaranteed as to their authenticity by the Jews themselves, and says that they contain prophecies concerning the life of Christ and the spread of the Church that can only be explained by a Divine revelation (I Apol., xxxi). In the "Dialogue", arguing with Jews, he can assume this revelation which they also recognize, and he can invoke the Scriptures as sacred oracles. These evidences of the prophecies are for him absolutely certain. "Listen to the texts which I am about to cite; it is not necessary for me to comment upon them, but only for you to hear them" (Dial., liii; cf. I Apol., xxx, liii). Nevertheless he recognizes that Christ alone could have given the explanation of them (I Apol., xxxii; Dial., lxxvi; cv); to understand them the men and women of his time must have the interior dispositions that make the true Christian (Dial., cxii), i.e., Divine grace is necessary (Dial., vii, lviii, xcii, cxix). He also appeals to miracles (Dial., vii; xxxv; lxix; cf. II Apol., vi), but with less insistence than to the prophecies.


God. Justin's teaching concerning God has been very diversely interpreted, some seeing in it nothing but a philosophic speculation (Engelhardt, 127 sq., 237 sqq.), others a truly Christian faith (Flemming, "Zur Beurteilung des Christentums Justins des Märtyrers", Leipzig, 1893, 70 sqq.; Stählin, "Justin der Märtyrer und sein neuester Beurtheiler", 34 sqq., Purves, op. cit., 142 sqq.). In reality it is possible to find in it these two tendencies: on one side the influence of philosophy betrays itself in his concept of the Divine transcendency, thus God is immovable (I Apol., ix; x, 1; lxiii, 1; etc.); He is above the heaven, can neither be seen nor enclosed within space (Dial., lvi, lx, cxxvii); He is called Father, in a philosophic and Platonistic sense, inasmuch as He is the Creator of the world (I Apol., xlv, 1; lxi, 3; lxv, 3; II Apol., vi, 1, etc.). On the other hand we see the God of the Bible in his all-powerful (Dial., lxxxiv; I Apol., xix, 6), and merciful God (Dial., lxxxiv; I Apol., xix, 6), and merciful God (Dial., cviii, lv, etc.); if He ordained the Sabbath it was not that He had need of the homage of the Jews, but that He desired to attach them to Himself (Dial., xxii); through His mercy He preserved among them a seed of salvation (lv); through His Divine Providence He has rendered the nations worthy of their inheritance (cxviiicxxx); He delays the end of the world on account of the Christians (xxxix; I Apol., xxviii, xlv). And the great duty of man is to love Him (Dial., xciii).

Welcome to June: the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

In the Catholic Church, the month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This great feast in the Church is always celebrated on the octave day of Corpus Christi, the feast which celebrates the Body and Blood of Christ. Corpus Christi falls on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday (which itself falls on the Sunday after Pentecost), which means the feast of the Sacred Heart falls nineteen days after Pentecost Sunday. The following day is the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so these two devotions to the hearts of Jesus and Mary are side-by-side on the liturgical calendar.
Devotion to Jesus’ Sacred Heart is perhaps the most popular in the Church today, and it had its beginning in 17th century France. In 1672, Christ appeared to a French Visitation nun, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Over a series of visits, Our Lord revealed to St. Margaret Mary the importance of devotion to His Sacred Heart. He asked that His heart, wounded on the cross and continually wounded by ingratitude of men for his sacrifice for them, be venerated and adored as an embodiment of His Divine mercy and love.

Jesus especially asked that all people go to Confession and receive Holy Communion often, especially on the First Friday of each month, and that reparation be made for sins committed against His Sacred Heart and the Holy Eucharist. He also requested that the Church observe a feast day specifically for the purpose of this reparation. In 1856, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart was officially added to the liturgical calendar.
You can have a devotion to the Sacred Heart by doing as Our Lord asked, by receiving Holy Communion frequently (especially on the first Friday of each month), monthly confession, veneration of an image of His Sacred Heart, and prayers and sacrifices offered out of love for Him and for the conversion of sinners.
Read next: What Are the First Friday and First Saturday Devotions?
Jesus also gave us, through St. Margaret Mary, special promises for those who keep a loving devotion to the attribute of His infinite love for mankind as represented in His Most Sacred Heart. Below are the 12 incredible promises of Jesus to those who have a true devotion to His Sacred Heart:
Jesus appears to St. Margaret Mary asking for devotion to his Sacred Heart


1. I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
2. I will establish peace in their homes.
3. I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
4. I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all, in death.
5. I will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.
6. Sinners will find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
9. I will bless every place in which an image of my Heart is exposed and honored.
10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
11. Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart.
12. I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.


To be prayed on nine consecutive days

Divine Jesus, You have said, “Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you.” Behold me kneeling at Your feet, filled with a lively faith and confidence in the promises dictated by Your Sacred Heart to Saint Margaret Mary. I come to ask this favor: (Mention your request).
To whom can I turn if not to You, Whose Heart is the source of all graces and merits? Where should I seek if not in the treasure which contains all the riches of Your kindness and mercy? Where should I knock if not at the door through which God gives Himself to us and through which we go to God? I have recourse to You, Heart of Jesus. In You I find consolation when afflicted, protection when persecuted, strength when burdened with trials, and light in doubt and darkness.
Dear Jesus, I firmly believe that You can grant me the grace I implore, even though it should require a miracle. You have only to will it and my prayer will be granted. I admit that I am most unworthy of Your favors, but this is not a reason for me to be discouraged. You are the God of mercy, and You will not refuse a contrite heart. Cast upon me a look of mercy, I beg of You, and Your kind Heart will find in my miseries and weakness a reason for granting my prayer.
Sacred Heart, whatever may be Your decision with regard to my request, I will never stop adoring, loving, praising, and serving You. My Jesus, be pleased to accept this my act of perfect resignation to the decrees of Your adorable Heart, which I sincerely desire may be fulfilled in and by me and all Your creatures forever.
Grant me the grace for which I humbly implore You through the Immaculate Heart of Your most sorrowful Mother. You entrusted me to her as her child, and her prayers are all-powerful with You.

Another big blow to Planned Parenthood; we can't stop until they are completely shut down

May 31, 2018

No Parents; whatever you do, do NOT let the kids decide faith for themselves; love them to heaven for goodness sakes

No, Catholic Parents Should NOT Let Small Kids “Decide For Themselves” About the Faith

Chris Maka, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
I feel the necessity to say this at least once a week to parents when it comes to their role in the spiritual development of their children:
You. Are. The. Parent.
When your child was baptized, you said you would take the lead in the spiritual and moral development of your children. This idea that that you let your child decide if they are going to be involved in that development is a dereliction of duty.
I would assume good parents don’t let their child decide whether or not they go to school.
I would assume good parents don’t let their child determine their diet.
I would assume good parents don’t let their children determine their bed times. I would imagine good parents don’t let their children determine whether or not the child wants to obey their parents.
I would imagine good parents don’t let their child determine a lot of necessary and important facets in their child’s life.
Perhaps as the child gets older, more leeway is given to help the child decide… but to make good decisions.
Why on earth do we treat faith as if it is so personal and individual that the child decides whether they are going to participate in what builds their faith? Why would we let a child decide whether they go to Mass? Catholicism isn’t a buffet of choices. It is way of life.
We do this and then wonder why the child grows up to treat faith and belief like a buffet that they stylize to what they want. We do this and teach our children rebellion against God.
My job as a pastor is to call the parents to live up to the commitment they made at their child’s baptism. They weren’t just words. They were a promise made to God.

Dont agree with our Governor much, but JBE signs another major Pro-Life bill into law; thank you Governor

Pro-life Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards Signs into Law 15-Week Abortion Limit

Contact: Mallory Quigley,, 202-223-8073
Dannenfelser: Louisiana Leading the Way in Bipartisan Effort to Change Status Quo of Abortion On-Demand
Washington, D.C. –  Today Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a pro-life Democrat, signed into law a bill limiting abortion after 15 weeks. SB181, which was sponsored by another pro-life Democrat, State Senator John Milkovich, will go into effect if a similar Mississippi law is upheld by the courts. The legislation passed overwhelmingly in both chambers of the legislature: 70-9 in the House, 24-1 in the Senate.
The national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) offered the following statement:
“We thank all pro-life lawmakers in Louisiana – especially pro-life Democrats like Governor Edwards and State Senator Milkovich for passing this legislation. They followed through on their pro-life principles and united across party lines to protect unborn children,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Louisiana is leading the way in the bipartisan effort to bring our nation’s laws into line with basic human decency.
“Like Mississippi, which recently passed similar legislation, Louisiana is one of 20 states to have already passed popular, compassionate legislation to stop cruel late-term abortions after five months. Of all the Democratic state legislators who have had a chance to vote on this common ground legislation, nearly a third have supported it. Such margins are evidence that only in Washington does the abortion lobby have a death grip on the Democratic party.
“Our nation’s permissive regime of abortion on-demand at any point in pregnancy established in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton has made the United States a global outlier and does not reflect the will of most Americans – especially where late-term abortions are concerned. Absolutely nothing was settled. This unjust status quo is untenable, and it is in states like Louisiana where the greatest progress toward righting it is being made. It is about time the courts caught up.”

Pope Paul VI, soon to be Saint, was a prophet concerning all things Life; Humane Vitae a must read for all Christians

50 Years Ago A Pope Predicted That Because Of Birth Control These Things Would Happen

History of the Church,Sexuality and Chastity,Value of Human Life,World in Crisis

In July of 1968, fifty years ago, Pope Paul VI issued his watershed encyclical condemning birth control, Humanae Vitae.
Its central premise speaks, authoritatively, the beautiful truth that sexual act reaches its fullness when it fosters conjugal intimacy, is open to procreation, and is lived out in the context of responsible parenthood. The conscious choice to artificially block procreation violates the integrity, beauty, and fullness of that act.

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3 Consequences Of Artifical Birth Control Pope Paul VI Predicted 50 Years Ago

1. It will open the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards.

Has this prediction proved accurate? We now see a national rate of divorce of 50% in the United States, (having been at 3% for the first year in 1969).

2. A man who grows accustomed to the use of a contraceptive method may forget the reverence due to a woman and reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires.

Today we experience an ongoing wave of sexual abuse scandals in Hollywood and television, politics, college campuses and beyond. The pornography industry earns an estimated $95 billion a year globally. The recent #MeToo movement cut across every demographic and only seems to grow.

3. The state may impose the use of contraceptive methods on everyone, thus intervening in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

Two blatant examples come to mind: The HHS Mandate vs. Little Sisters of The Poor (a seven-year ordeal that finally ended with a federal rollback in the fall of 2017), China’s One Child Policy (officially suspended in 2015 but still wrecking havoc on demographics and has done irreparable harm to families, women and souls).

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Baby Humanae Vitae - Alex Hockett on Unsplash
Photo: Alex Hockett /

4 Differences between Natural Family Planning and Artificial Contraception

  1. Artificial contraception deliberately blocks, sterilizes, and works against conception, while NFP respects the way God designed fertility.
  2. Some forms of artificial birth control work by causing abortions. Hormonal contraceptives like the Pill, NuvaRing, the patch, IUDs, etc., work by preventing the newly-conceived embryo from implanting in the uterine wall (resulting in death to the embryo).
  3. Possible side-effects of artificial contraception:
– New England Journal of Medicine (2017) – Women using the pill have a 20% higher risk of breast cancer or even 40% higher in cases of prolonged use.
– American Journal of Psychiatry also reports that women on hormonal contraceptives have a 70% higher risk of depression and are 3 times more likely to die by suicide.
– Increased risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, depression, loss of fertility, and more.
  1. Although not always easy for couples, NFP is totally natural. Many methods are free of cost, it bears no increased risk of cancer, and couples who use NFP have a divorce rate of 5% in comparison the national rate of 50%.
Could Pope Paul VI have been right about artificial contraception? As the Church marks the 50-year anniversary of his landmark encyclical, now is the perfect time to read (or reread) Humanae Vitae and to re-educate ourselves on the grave implications – personal and sociological – of the Pill, IUDs, and other forms of contraception.

Catholics on the Big Island need prayers as volcano continues to act up

Hawaii parishioners displaced by lava ask for prayers

Hawaii parishioners displaced by lava ask for prayers
People watch ash rise from Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii May 15. (Credit: CNS photo/Terray Sylvester, Reuters.)
Hawaii's residents try to help one another in the continuing drama of lava flow from an active volcano.
HONOLULU - Paul and Rose Utes, members of Sacred Heart Parish in Pahoa, had to leave their home when lava from the Kilauea eruptions moved into their section of the Leilani Estates subdivision in Puna on the Big Island.
At the time they heard the mandatory evacuation order, the couple, who own Black Rock Cafe in Pahoa, were prepping to cater food for Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva’s parish visit that first weekend in May.
While the Utes were at their house retrieving their belongings, a fissure opened up across the street, sending a lava fountain shooting into the air. They later returned to get some of their dogs that had run off after the fissure explosion and a few more things. But with the road to their home fairly inaccessible, they haven’t been back recently.
“It’s just frustrating not knowing what’s going on around your house,” Paul said May 23 in a telephone interview with the Hawaii Catholic Herald, Honolulu’s diocesan newspaper.
Yet Paul said they haven’t accepted much relief support beyond temporarily staying in a friend’s home because they feel there are other people who need it more. Their business hasn’t been much affected by the eruptions so far. And they have insurance, though they still have to pay the mortgage on a house they can’t live in.
The Utes, who have lived in Leilani Estates since 1991, now need to find a long-term place to stay.
“I don’t want these houses. I want my house,” Paul recalled his wife saying sadly as they drove around looking at potential rental properties that would allow their six dogs.
“If everybody could just keep all the people affected in their prayers,” Paul asked. “I know a lot of people that lost their houses and need help. And they’re devastated. And I know quite a few people who didn’t have insurance and lost their houses.”
Sacred Heart parishioners Richard and Nancy Robbins also live in Leilani Estates, but are four or five streets north of the current lava activity.
“God has looked out after us,” Richard said.
According to Hawaii County Civil Defense, 82 structures to date have been destroyed by lava in this latest outflow from Kilauea Volcano, erupting continuously since 1983. Lava so far has covered more than 2,223 acres.
While Hawaii County issued an evacuation order to subdivision residents, some residents like the Robbinses have gone back to living in their homes. They moved from Miami to Hawaii 19 years ago and love Leilani. Now they regularly drive around the subdivision checking on the homes of friends and neighbors.
“It’s one thing hearing about it, one thing seeing pictures on TV,” Richard said, but another to be there. “We got halfway down a street and we realized that (the rest of the) street didn’t exist anymore.”
Richard said fellow parishioners have been wonderful. One couple offered their deployed son’s home as a temporary residence. The parish food bank asked if they needed food. A non-Catholic local friend has also offered their home further away on the island for Richard and Nancy if and when they might need to leave Leilani again.
“We aren’t in any need, but it’s nice to hear people ask you, even if you don’t need it,” Richard said.
“Leilani is a very, very tight community,” he added. “I’m just hoping we can survive. I don’t want to have to leave Hawaii.”
At Sacred Heart Parish in Pahoa town, you might not know there’s major volcanic activity going on just a few miles away if not for the busy parking lot full of news crews and aid workers, said Lindbergh Marzo, Sacred Heart’s pastoral council president.
The parish, which is 3.5 miles from the eruption, has allowed media and relief workers to use the church’s lot and office bathrooms. At one point the parish hall was a temporary crisis information center. Other parishes have been dropping off donations there as well.
St. Joseph Parish in Hilo filled a 15-person passenger van with food, water, blankets, pillows, clothing, gift cards and other items for Puna evacuees and dropped it off at Sacred Heart May 22. Parishioners also raised a $3,224 cash donation for a local relief fund.
Father Paul Li, vicar forane of the diocese’s East Hawaii vicariate, said the parishes in the vicariate took up a second collection for volcano aid during Masses May 19 and 20, which was Pentecost Sunday.
Li’s parish of St. Theresa in Mountain View, which is about 18 miles from Pahoa, and Holy Rosary Mission in Keaau collected $1,164 in their second collection and also delivered blankets, tarps, towels and other items to Sacred Heart for distribution to those displaced residents that need them.
“Some people are grateful for where they are and some people have a lot of anxiety,” Marzo said of the people he knows displaced by the volcano activity.
Leilani Estates is a rural subdivision with large lots on a 22-mile grid. The smaller nearby Lanipuna Gardens also is affected. At least 24 fissures have opened up since May 3, spewing molten rock on what used to be a quiet subdivision, forming a lava lake, sending magma to the ocean and expelling poisonous sulfur dioxide gas.
Weaver writes for the Hawaii Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Diocese of Honolulu.

Yep, they still don't get it. Baptist Church tosses sculpture of Jesus for being too "Catholic"

So this kind of proves my point: to be something other than the one true Church; the fullness of truth, the others faith must go out of it's way to either denounce Catholicism or try and prove it to be something other than the true Bride of Christ.  Here is a huge clue:  if your church did not exist in the patristic period, in the early centuries, hell, all the way until the late 1600's thru the early 1900's and if your church apparatus does not exist in every land, nation, time zone; come on!  Yes, this church is probably right; it is too Catholic because the visible Church on earth as part of the divine plan; God's holy will is to be Catholic.

I'm sure there are plenty of takers for the statue.

Baptist church removing Jesus statue it deems too “Catholic”

Baptist church removing Jesus statue it deems too “Catholic”
In this 2017 file photo, Bert Baker, an amateur artist, stands in front of a recently finished seven-foot tall sculpture of Christ at Red Bank Baptist Church in Lexington, S.C. The sculptor says his statue of Jesus Christ is being removed from the church after more than a decade, because some perceive it as “too Catholic” for the Baptist place of worship. (Credit: Gerry Melendez/The State via AP.)
A South Carolina church's congregation has voted to remove a statue of Jesus Christ because some believe it's too "Catholic" for their Baptist place of worship.
LEXINGTON, South Carolina - A South Carolina church’s congregation has voted to remove a statue of Jesus Christ because some believe it’s too “Catholic” for their Baptist place of worship.
The State newspaper cites a letter sent by Red Bank Baptist Church leadership to Bert Baker Jr., a former member of the congregation who hand-carved the 7-foot (2-meter) statue and accompanying reliefs showing scenes from the life of Christ.
The art has been displayed in the church for a decade, but the pastor told the artist it’s being taken down this week. The letter says some in the congregation believe the image of Christ standing with his arms outstretched is “Catholic in nature.”
The artist responded that the pastor’s letter displays religious prejudice and insults the community’s intelligence.

Pope Francis continues outreach to victims of Chile clergy abuse

Vatican Confirms: Pope Francis to Receive 5 Priests Who Were Victims of Abuse in Chile

To ‘listen to their valuable opinion to improve the existing preventive measures and the fight against abuses in the Church’

The Vatican has confirmed that from June 1-3, 2018, the Holy Father will receive a second group of victims of the Reverend Fernando Karadima and his followers, of the parish of the Sacred Heart of Providencia (“El Bosque”).
In the declaration issued today, May 31, 2018, by Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, stated: “This coming weekend, as planned [announced in a May 22, 2018 statement], the Holy Father will host a group of Chilean priests at Casa Santa Marta.”
“In order to move forward in the process of reparation and healing of the victims of abuse,” it continued, “in the next few days, Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Bishop Jordi Bertomeu will depart again for Chile, this time on mission to the Diocese of Osorno, in accordance with the Pope Francis.”
“Meanwhile,” it concluded, “the Pope will send to the President of the Episcopal Conference of Chile a letter written personally and addressed to all the People of God, as he had promised to the bishops.”
According to the first May 22 statement, they are five priests, who were victims of sexual abuses and of abuses of power and conscience. Two other priests will be with them, who have helped the victims in their juridical and spiritual journey, and two laymen involved in this suffering. All will be guests of the Holy Father in Casa Santa Marta.
The great majority of these people took part in the meetings held in Chile last February, during the special mission of Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Monsignor Jordi Bertomeu. The rest have collaborated in the weeks after the visit.
With this new meeting, Pope Francis wants to show his closeness to the abused priests, to accompany them in their pain, and to listen to their valuable opinion to improve the existing preventive measures and the fight against abuses in the Church.
The first phase thus concludes the Holy Father’s meetings with the victims of the abusive system established several decades ago in the mentioned parish. These priests and laymen represent all the victims of the abuses of the clergy in Chile, but the repetition of similar initiatives in the future is not discarded.
There will be several meetings in the course of the weekend, which will unfold in an atmosphere of trust and confidentiality. On Saturday morning, June 2, the Pope will celebrate a private Mass in Saint Martha’s House. Planned in the early afternoon is a group meeting, followed by individual conversations.
The Pontiff continues to ask the faithful of Chile – especially the faithful of the parishes where these priests carry out their pastoral ministry – to accompany them with prayer and solidarity during these days.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

May 31st is the Feast of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth

Ordinary Time: May 31st

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The feast of the Visitation recalls to us the following great truths and events: The visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth shortly after the Annunciation; the cleansing of John the Baptist from original sin in the womb of his mother at the words of Our Lady's greeting; Elizabeth's proclaiming of Mary—under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost—as Mother of God and "blessed among women"; Mary's singing of the sublime hymn, Magnificat ("My soul doth magnify the Lord") which has become a part of the daily official prayer of the Church. The Visitation is frequently depicted in art, and was the central mystery of St. Francis de Sales' devotions.
The Mass of today salutes her who in her womb bore the King of heaven and earth, the Creator of the world, the Son of the Eternal Father, the Sun of Justice. It narrates the cleansing of John from original sin in his mother's womb. Hearing herself addressed by the most lofty title of "Mother of the Lord" and realizing what grace her visit had conferred on John, Mary broke out in that sublime canticle of praise proclaiming prophetically that henceforth she would be venerated down through the centuries:
"My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me, and holy is His name" (Lk. 1:46).

—Excerpted from the Cathedral Daily Missal

This feast is of medieval origin, it was kept by the Franciscan Order before 1263, and soon its observance spread throughout the entire Church. Previously it was celebrated on July 2. Now it is celebrated between the solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord and the birth of St. John the Baptist, in conformity with the Gospel accounts. Some places appropriately observe a celebration of the reality and sanctity of human life in the womb. The liturgical color is white.

The Visitation
And Mary rising up in those days went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda. [Lk. 1:39]
How lyrical that is, the opening sentence of St. Luke's description of the Visitation. We can feel the rush of warmth and kindness, the sudden urgency of love that sent that girl hurrying over the hills. "Those days" in which she rose on that impulse were the days in which Christ was being formed in her, the impulse was his impulse.
Many women, if they were expecting a child, would refuse to hurry over the hills on a visit of pure kindness. They would say they had a duty to themselves and to their unborn child which came before anything or anyone else.
The Mother of God considered no such thing. Elizabeth was going to have a child, too, and although Mary's own child was God, she could not forget Elizabeth's need—almost incredible to us, but characteristic of her.
She greeted her cousin Elizabeth, and at the sound of her voice, John quickened in his mother's womb and leapt for joy.
I am come, said Christ, that they may have life and may have it more abundantly. [Jn. 10, 10] Even before He was born His presence gave life.
With what piercing shoots of joy does this story of Christ unfold! First the conception of a child in a child's heart, and then this first salutation, an infant leaping for joy in his mother's womb, knowing the hidden Christ and leaping into life.
How did Elizabeth herself know what had happened to Our Lady? What made her realize that this little cousin who was so familiar to her was the mother of her God?
She knew it by the child within herself, by the quickening into life which was a leap of joy.
If we practice this contemplation taught and shown to us by Our Lady, we will find that our experience is like hers.
If Christ is growing in us, if we are at peace, recollected, because we know that however insignificant our life seems to be, from it He is forming Himself; if we go with eager wills, "in haste," to wherever our circumstances compel us, because we believe that He desires to be in that place, we shall find that we are driven more and more to act on the impulse of His love.
And the answer we shall get from others to those impulses will be an awakening into life, or the leap into joy of the already wakened life within them.
Excerpted from The Reed of God, Caryll Houselander