Friday, November 23, 2012


St. Andrew Dung-Lac

Feast: November 24
Feast Day:November 24
1785 in Vietnam
21 December 1839 in Hanoi, Vietnam
19 June 1988 by Pope John Paul II

Vietnamese priest and martyr and companion of St. Peter Thi. Andrew was arrested and beheaded on Dcember 21, 1839, with Peter Thi during the harsh anti-Christian persecutions. He was canonized in 1988. SOURCE:


Vatican City, 23 November 2012 (VIS) - "Ever since the dawn of Christianity, the maritime world has been an effective vehicle for evangelisation. The Apostles and disciples of Jesus were able to go into the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, partly thanks to maritime navigation; the journeys of St. Paul provide just one example. In this way they undertook their mission to spread the Word of God to 'the ends of the earth'".
With these words Benedict XVI this morning greeted participants in the twenty-third World Congress of the Apostleship of the Sea, organised by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples. The congress focused on themes such as the proclamation of the Gospel to the increasing number of seafarers belonging to the Oriental Churches, assistance to non-Christians and non-believers, and the intensification of ecumenical and inter-religious collaboration.
"Today too the Church sails across the seas to bring the Gospel to all nations, and your presence in ports throughout the world, your daily visits to ships docked in these ports and the fraternal welcome you give to the crews whilst in port are a visible sign of your concern for those who are not able to receive ordinary pastoral care. Nowadays the world of seafaring, with its continual movement of people, must take account of the complex effects of globalisation and, unfortunately, has to face situations of injustice, especially when crews are subject to restrictions on disembarkation, abandoned along with the vessels on which they work, face the threat of piracy at sea or suffer the consequences of illegal fishing. The vulnerability of seafarers, fishermen and sailors must encourage even greater concern on the part of the Church and stimulate the maternal care that, through you, she shows to those you meet in ports and on board ships, or assist during long periods at sea".
Benedict XVI then turned his attention to those who work in the fishing sector and their families, emphasising that more than other groups they have to "face the difficulties of the present time and the uncertainty of a future threatened by the negative effects of climate change and the excessive exploitation of resources. I guarantee the Church will remain close to fishermen who seek dignified and safe working conditions, safeguarding the value of the family and the environment and defending the dignity of each individual".
Finally, citing the Vatican Council II decree "Ad gentes" on the missionary activity of the Church, the Pope encouraged those who work "on the front line of the evangelisation of many men and women of various nationalities in your ports" to be "faithful apostles to the mission of proclaiming the Gospel" and to "show the caring face of the Church who welcomes and draws close also to this group of the People of God", responding "without hesitation to seafarers, who await you on board, in the hope that you may fulfil the deepest longings of their souls and that they may become an active part of the community".
Vatican City, 23 November 2012 (VIS) - The "King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Inter-religious and Inter-cultural Dialogue" (KAICIID) will be inaugurated on Monday 26 November in Vienna. Its name refers to the initiative of the King of Saudi Arabia and has three "founder States": the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Austria and the Kingdom of Spain. The Holy See has accepted the invitation to participate as a "founding observer" and a high level Vatican delegation will attend the inauguration ceremony.
Some questions have been raised regarding the motives and the meaning of the Holy See's adherence to this initiative. The Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. has offered the following clarifications:
"The centre, which will be inaugurated in Vienna on Monday, is a new institution the purpose of which is to foster dialogue among religions and cultures. This goal is to be regarded favourably with a view to fostering understanding and peaceful coexistence among populations, a matter of fundamental urgency for humanity today and in the future. The King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, and the Holy Father discussed these aims during their meeting on 6 November 2007 in Vatican City.
"It is important to note that the new centre is not a proprietary institution of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but rather an independent international organisation recognised by the United Nations and founded by three States, two of which have centuries-old Christian traditions. It therefore provides an opportunity and space for dialogue, and it is right that the Holy See should avail herself of the opportunity to be present, in order to offer her experience and trusted expertise in the field of inter-religious dialogue. The status of founding observer is most apt to guarantee just such a presence, respecting the nature of the Holy See and permitting the Holy See to express her specific concerns and expectations.
"The Catholic Church is present among the various religions and religious communities on the Board of Directors, which is defined as the motor of the Centre's initiatives, and she will be represented from the outset by Fr. Miguel Ayuso Guixot M.I.I.C., secretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. This will constitute an important opportunity to present the vision of the Church in matters of dialogue, the human person and vocation, ethics and religion, social relations, justice and peace in a prominent cultural and international context. This has certainly taken place, and continues to do so, in many contexts and on many different occasions, but the variety and pluralism of today's world necessitate a multiplicity of directions and opportunities in which the active and proactive role of the Church may be developed whenever possible.
"Naturally, the Holy See, as a founding observer, will make every effort to express her concerns regarding the effective respect for the basic rights of Christians living in countries with a Muslim majority, in order to promote authentic and integral religious freedom. The new centre in Vienna will offer a suitable space in which these concerns may be raised and heard, and in which appropriate solutions may be found to problems as they arise".
Vatican City, 23 November 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:
- Michel Sleiman, president of the Republic of Lebanon.
- Eight prelates of the Episcopal Conference of France, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Bishop Pascal Roland of Belley-Ars.
- Bishop Guy de Kerimel of Grenoble-Vienne.
- Bishop Dominque Lebrun of Saint-Etienne.
- Archbishop Bernard Barsi of Monaco, Principality of Monaco.
- Archbishop Hippolyte Simon of Clermont.
- Bishop Henri Brincard of Le Puy-en-Velay.
- Bishop Bruno Grua of Saint-Flour.
- Fr. Jean-Pierre Millet, diocesan administrator of Moulins.
This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
Vatican City, 23 November 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:
- Fr. Jacek Pyl O.M.I., pastor of the parish of St. Michael the Archangel at Tyvriv in the diocese of Kyiv-Zhytomyr, Ukraine, as auxiliary of the diocese of Odessa-Simferopol (area 113,363, population 10,052,000, Catholics 18,211, priests 52, religious 65), Ukraine. The bishop-elect was born in Garwolin, Poland in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1988. He has served as master of novices for his order in Poland, and as superior of the delegation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Ukraine.
- Archbishop James Michael Harvey, prefect of the Pontifical Household as archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls.
Vatican City, 23 November 2012 (VIS) - The Vatican Information Service will transmit a special bulletin tomorrow for the consistory during which the Holy Father will create six new members of the College of Cardinals.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
23 Nov 2012
Therese Vassarotti - wonderful pioneer and role model.
Men and women across Australia are mourning the death of Therese Vassarotti who died in Canberra on Tuesday, 20 November. She was 62.
Diagnosed in February this year with acute myeloid leukaemia, Therese waged a courageous battle against the disease, never losing her warmth, faith-filled vibrancy, determination and humour, or her passion for her family and helping others. Sadly she lost her battle this week but leaves behind a remarkable legacy, particularly for Australian women of faith.
"Therese is a wonderful role model for Catholic women and girls. She was a true leader as well as a friend, a teacher, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a mother and a grandmother," says Donella Johnston, Director of the Office for the Participation of Women at the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC), a position initially pioneered by Therese who was her long time friend and mentor. 
Faith was the anchor and wellspring of Therese's life. In addition to being a devoted wife to her husband Kevin and mother of six children and doting grandmother of five, Therese was also respected theologian, educator, community leader, university lecturer, promoter of interfaith relations and social justice, and a lifelong champion of women.
In May 2001, she made history in May, 2001 when she became the inaugural Executive Officer of the ACBC's newly-formed Commission for Australian Women. In the role from 2001 until 2005, Therese encouraged and promoted the participation of women in the Catholic Church of Australia and was considered by many a pioneer in her field.
As she prepared to take up her historic role with the ACBC, Therese said one of her main aims would be to give people a voice. There must be a lot of people out there who don't have a voice; people who are disenfranchised or those who feel that they don't have a forum in which to speak out or be heard, she told one interviewer.
A funeral mass for Therese Vassarotti will be held at St Christopher's Cathedral, Canberra
"I love my Church and I see this as an opportunity to be part of its journey, to come to full understanding and implementation of the gospel message, centring on themes of justice and understanding of the human condition with its male and female side," she said and one of her primary goals would be to have "men and women making decisions together and sharing their wisdom."
But it is not only her groundbreaking role with the ACBC for which Therese will be remembered.
Prior to her appointment with the Commission, Therese had made her name as an educator as Director of Religious Education at St Edmund's College, Canberra and also as Director of Education and Formation for Catholic Health Australia (CHA) which represents Australia's 75 private and public Catholic Hospitals and 550 residential and community care aged services operated by the Catholic Church.
"Part of Therese's legacy from her time with CHA was the establishment of the Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Catholic Culture, which is now run by the Australian Catholic University and helps develop the current and future leaders of Catholic health and aged care," Martin Laverty, CEO of CHA said in a special tribute to her work and her life yesterday.
After passing on the mantle after her term as the first head of the ACBC's Commission for Australian Women, Therese continued her work as an educator and lecturer in theology at the Australian Catholic University where she was also responsible for co-ordinating education and formation programs to assist in the transition of leadership from religious to the laity in the Catholic health sector.
Donella Johnson current head of the ACBC's Commission for Women
"In the late 1990s I used to share a staff room with Therese at Merici College," Donella recalls. "We were both in the English department and she was a great teacher and a wonderful role model for me as a young teacher."
Like so many others, Donella is devastated by the untimely death of her long time friend. "It has knocked the wind out of my sails. Selfishly, I had hoped Therese would be my mentor when I came into this role with the Commission. But sadly that is not to be."
Donella says Therese will be long remembered with respect and affection and will be sadly missed by all those who knew and loved her.
Therese Vassarotti is survived by her husband Kevin, her six children Rebecca, Megan, Sophie, Mark, Andrew and Patrick and five grandchildren.
Her funeral Mass celebrating her remarkable life will be held at St Christopher's Cathedral in Canberra at 10.30 am on Tuesday, 27 November.



Stone dishonors fallen soldiers: LIFE, Inc. bears the brunt

People are notorious for displaying images on Facebook of themselves or others doing foolish things. Why anyone would want to be remembered for some of the antics photographed is inconceivable. However, one young woman thought she should be immortalized with her mouth open as if shouting and her middle finger up next to a sign at a landmark military cemetery reminding the public of proper respect and decorum while visiting.
Immature? Yes.
Disrespectful? Certainly.
Worthy of destroying the reputation of her employer whose business it is to provide independent living for adults with disabilities? Absolutely not.
Living Independently Forever, Inc. (LIFE) is a non-profit organization that manages independent living facilities for adults with disabilities in Cape Cod, Mass. Their employee,Lindsey Stone, is featured in the infamous photo at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier inArlington National Cemetery. She has since been placed on leave along with the co-worker who took the photo after it caused outrage on Facebook.
The outrage that ensued regarding the photo has become seemingly misdirected. LIFE, Inc.issued the following statement:
“On Nov. 19 at approximately 6 p.m., we became aware that one of our employees had posted an offensive, inappropriate photograph on her personal Facebook page. The photo was taken at a national historic site in October by a fellow employee during a trip to Washington, D.C. attended by 40 residents and eight staff. The photo has since been removed from Facebook, and both employees have been placed on unpaid leave pending the results of an internal investigation.
This photograph in no way reflects the opinions or values of the LIFE organization, which holds our nation’s veterans in the highest regard. We are proud to have veterans serving on our staff and board of trustees, and we value their service. The men and women who have selflessly fought and sacrificed their lives to protect the rights and lives of Americans deserve our utmost respect and gratitude. We are acutely aware that this photo has done a disservice to veterans and we are deeply saddened that it was taken and shared in a public medium.”
Although, the statement clearly reflects a sincere effort on the part of the employer to deal with the behavior of their employees during a work related trip, the company continues to receive vitriolic posts on their Facebook page. Many of the comments are not appropriate to reprint, thousands of them accuse LIFE of not acting in a swift or severe enough manner. Posts attacking the photo and the company have even been included on status updates that are unrelated to the event.
What does the counter reaction say about those who oppose Ms. Stone's photo?
Isn't there a hint, or rather, a truck load, of hypocrisy entangled in the backlash?
Everyone wants their First Amendment Rights to free speech when said "speech" is what they wish to hear. And, does free speech include the right to be disrespectful and lack civil decorum? What about how the behavior of a person reflects personal character and virtue?
Stone's behavior which received reprimand, if not yet dismissal from her position, is certainly nothing worth emulating; neither is the reaction from her critics. Christian witness calls for the admonition of the sinner (cf. Mt 15:18) with love and gentleness through proper channels. The vilification of LIFE, Inc. is as disrespectful and disturbing as the crude act of a misguided woman who dishonored the memory of our fallen soldiers.
Kathy Vestermark is a Catholic writer with an MA in Theology. She is a wife and mother of six children, one with significant special needs. As an RCIA Instructor, Women's Bible Study Facilitator, and writer of a Catholic blog, Kathy is an avid teacher of Catholicism. You can find her blogging at


Agenzia Fides REPORT - "We are outraged and shocked by the escalating violence which started a few months ago in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and is causing a new human tragedy," said the statement sent to Fides Agency, signed by the "Bishop Presidents of the African Episcopal Conferences and Presidents of Caritas African " who met in Kinshasa for a meeting on the mission and identity of Caritas. The meeting, which was attended by Bishops from 34 African countries, was held from November 20 to 22.
The offensive in North Kivu by the guerrilla group M23, which culminated in the conquest of its capital, Goma, is blamed in this way by African Bishops: "Thousands of men, women and children, the victims of this war which is imposed on them, are displaced and abandoned in destitution in Goma and its surroundings. They are exposed to the bad weather, hunger, rape and all kinds of abuses, including recruiting of children into the army. This constitutes an offense to their dignity as human beings and children of God. "
The Bishops reaffirm their conviction "that the time is no longer for war or conquest, but rather to promote cooperation between peoples," and denounced "the illegal exploitation of natural resources, which is the main cause of this war." For this reason the signatories ask the UN, African Union, European Union and the governments of the DRC and Countries "involved in some way in the war", as well as multinational companies in the mining sector, to find "a just and concerted solution, in order to put a definitive end to the suffering of the civilian population in eastern DRC, avoiding to throw them in despair and violence. " The Bishops finally launch an appeal to Christian solidarity, especially through Caritas networks in the world. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 23/11/2012)



About 1.5 percent live with HIV, despite gradual decline in cases countrywide reporter, Dhaka
The Catholic minority in the country remains at substantial risk from HIV/AIDS despite a UNAIDS report that suggests a gradual decline in total cases.
“Catholics number about 350,000 in the country, but we have information that 1.5 percent of them are HIV/AIDS patients,” said Dr. Edward Pallab Rozario, secretary of the Healthcare Commission at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh.
Rozario spoke on the sidelines of a three-day HIV/AIDS workshop in Dhaka organized by Caritas that ended yesterday.
Official data last year put the total number of cases in the country at 2,500, though unofficially the number is thought to be closer to 7,000 patients.
As in other communities, Catholics hesitate to disclose that they are HIV-positive or seek testing or treatment, largely because of the stigma attached to the illness, said Rozario, who also coordinates HIV projects for Caritas Bangladesh.
Bela Rozario (not her real name), a 37-year-old widow and mother of three, said HIV has brought misery and suffering to her family.
“My husband used to work in Mumbai, India, and died of AIDS four years ago. I and my younger daughter are HIV-positive. I believe it came from my husband. My in-laws treat me as a bad woman and don’t allow me into their homes,” said the widow, who works with Caritas.
The program drew 40 participants, mostly health workers including priests and nuns who work in areas of the country considered at high risk for HIV.
Dr. Rozario cited cultural obstacles to treatment and educating young people about how to protect against infection.
“AIDS is related to sexuality, which is taboo in Bangladesh. We have instructed our health workers to identify those in need and help them get treatment.”
Sister Chandra Rebeiro of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions who works among migrant workers in Gazipur, an industrial zone near Dhaka, said many workers are away from their families for long stretches of time and engage in risky sexual behavior.
“I make them aware about HIV/AIDS infection and inform them about where they can receive treatment,” she said.
UNAIDS estimates that about 12,000 people in the country live with HIV. About 50 percent of those are migrant workers.
While there are about 100 local and international NGOs that work on HIV/AIDs issues, most of these only offer awareness programs because treatment is too expensive for most Bangladeshis.
Akter Jahan, an official with the State Health Department’s National HIV/AIDS Program, said that next month eight hospitals across the country would start offering anti-retroviral treatment (ART).
Asma Parvin, deputy director of Ashar Alo (Light of Hope), which is one of the few organizations that does provide treatment, said about 70 percent of people with HIV cannot afford treatment.
ART costs between 4,200 taka and 50,000 taka (US$51 to $610) per treatment.
Last year 325 deaths were attributed to AIDS-related illness, up from 241 in 2010, according to government data.


Scotland:  Archbishop responds to new Religious Hate Crime statistics | Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, religious hate crime in Scotland', Religiously Aggravated Offending in Scotland

Archbishop Tartaglia

The Catholic Church has called for a public acknowledgement of the extent of anti-Catholicism in Scotland as new Crown Office statistics show an increase in Religiously Aggravated hate crimes directed at Catholics.
The data contained in the report: 'Religiously Aggravated Offending in Scotland 2011-12' shows an increase of 26% in religious hate crimes. 876 charges with a religious aggravation in 2011-12 were analysed by the Justice Analytical Services.
As per previous years attacks on Catholics constitute the largest identified group, with 509 such incidents accounting for 58.1% of all such offences. Anti-Catholic attacks are more prevalent than attacks on all other religious groups combined.
Commenting on the statistics, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said: "I am saddened by the latest figures on religiously aggravated offending. While most Catholics are safe most of the time, these figures show a side of Scotland which is truly unfortunate. Sadly, it seems incontrovertible now that our problem is not so much sectarianism but anti-Catholicism. This is regrettable because popular culture is inventing all kinds of new reasons to marginalise and hate Catholics. In the face of this, the Catholic community of Scotland remains steadfast in faith, joyful in hope and fully committed to being part of Scottish society."
To read the full report see:
Source: SCMO


Luke 19: 45 - 48
45And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold,
46saying to them, "It is written, `My house shall be a house of prayer'; but you have made it a den of robbers."
47And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people sought to destroy him;
48but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people hung upon his words.


St. Clement I
Feast: November 23
Feast Day:
November 23
Rome, Italy
Patron of:
boatmen, marble workers, mariners, sailors, sick children, stonecutters, watermen

According to Tertullian, writing c. 199, the Roman Church claimed that Clement was ordained by St. Peter (De Praescript., xxxii), and St. Jerome tells us that in his time "most of the Latins" held that Clement was the immediate successor of the Apostle (De viris illustr., xv). St. Jerome himself in several other places follows this opinion, but here he correctly states that Clement was the fourth pope. The early evidence shows great variety. The most ancient list of popes is one made by Hegesippus in the time of Pope Anicetus, c. 160 (Harnack ascribes it to an unknown author under Soter, c. 170), cited by St. Epiphanius (Haer., xxvii, 6). It seems to have been used by St. Irenaeus (Haer., III, iii), by Julius Africanus, who composed a chronography in 222, by the third—or fourth-century author of a Latin poem against Marcion, and by Hippolytus, who see chronology extends to 234 and is probably found in the "Liberian Catalogue" of 354. That catalogue was itself adopted in the " Liber Pontificalis ". Eusebius in his chronicle and history used Africanus; in the latter he slightly corrected the dates. St. Jerome's chronicle is a translation of Eusebius's, and is our principal means for restoring the lost Greek of the latter; the Armenian version and Coptic epitomes of it are not to be depended on. The varieties of order are as follows: Linus, Cletus, Clemens (Hegesippus, ap. Epiphanium, Canon of Mass). Linus, Anencletus, Clemens (Irenaeus, Africanus ap. Eusebium). Linus, Anacletus, Clemens (Jerome). Linus, Cletus, Anacletus, Clemens (Poem against Marcion), Linus, Clemens, Cletus, Anacletus [Hippolytus (?), "Liberian Catal."—"Liber. Pont."]. Linus, Clemens, Anacletus (Optatus, Augustine).
At the present time no critic doubts that Cletus, Anacletus, Anencletus, are the same person. Anacletus is a Latin error; Cletus is a shortened (and more Christian) form of Anencletus. Lightfoot thought that the transposition of Clement in the "Liberian Catalogue" was a mere accident, like the similar error "Anicetus, Pius" for "Pius Anicetus", further on in the same list. But it may have been a deliberate alteration by Hippolytus, on the ground of the tradition mentioned by Tertullian. St. Irenaeus (III, iii) tells us that Clement "saw the blessed Apostles and conversed with them, and had yet ringing in his ears the preaching of the Apostles and had their tradition before his eyes, and not he only for many were then surviving who had been taught y the Apostles ". Similarly Epiphanius tells us (from Hegesippus) that Clement was a contemporary of Peter and Paul. Now Linus and Cletus had each twelve years attributed to them in the list. If Hippolytus found Cletus doubled by an error.(Cletus XII, Anacletus XII), the accession of Clement would appear to be thirty-six years after the death of the Apostles. As this would make it almost impossible for Clement to have been their contemporary, it may have caused Hippolytus to shift him to an earlier position. Further, St. Epiphanius says (loc. cit. ): " Whether he received episcopal ordination from Peter in the life-time of the Apostles, and declined the office, for he says in one of his epistles 'I retire, I depart, let the people of God be in peace', (for we have found this set down in certain Memoirs), or whether he was appointed by the Bishop Cletus after he had succeeded the Apostles, we do not clearly know." The "Memoirs" were certainly those of Hegesippus. It seems unlikely that he is appealed to only for the quotation from the Epistle, c. liv; probably Epiphanius means that Hegesippus stated that Clement had been ordained by Peter and declined to be bishop, but twenty-four years later really exercised the office for nine years. Epiphanius could not reconcile these two facts; Hippolytus seems to have rejected the latter.
The date intended by Hegesippus is not hard to restore. Epiphanius implies that he placed the martyrdom of the Apostles in the twelfth year of Nero. Africanus calculated the fourteenth year (for he had attributed one year too little to the reigns of Caligula and Claudius), and added the imperial date for the accession of each pope; but having two years too few up to Anicetus he could not get the intervals to tally with the years of episcopate given by Hegesippus. He had a parallel difficulty in his list of the Alexandrian bishops. Hegesippus Africanus (from Eusebius) Interval Real Dates AD Linus 12 Nero 14 12 Nero 12 66 Cletus 12 Titus 2 12 Vesp 10 78 Clemens 9 Dom 12 (7) Dom 10 80 Euaristus 8 Trajan 2 (10) Tajan 2 99 Alexander 10 Trajan 12 10 Trajan 10 107 Sixtus 10 Hadrian 3 (9) Hadrian 1 117 Telesphorus 11 Hadrian 12 (10) Hadrian 11 127 Hyginus 4 Anton 1 4 Anton 1 138 Pius 15 Anton 5 15 Anton 5 142 Anicetus Anton 20 Anton 20 157
If we start, as Hegesippus intended, with Nero 12 (see last column), the sum of his years brings us right for the last three popes. But Africanus has started two years wrong, and in order to get right at Hyginus he has to allow one year too little to each of the preceding popes, Sixtus and Telesphorus. But there is one inharmonious date, Trajan 2, which gives seven and ten years to Clement and Euaristus instead of nine and eight. Evidently he felt bound to insert a traditional date—and in fact we see that Trajan 2 was the date intended by Hegesippus. Now we know that Hegesippus spoke about Clement's acquaintance with the Apostles, and said nothing about any other pope until Telesphorus, "who was a glorious martyr." It is not surprising, then, to find that Africanus had, besides the lengths of episcopate, two fixed dates from Hegesippus, those of the death of Clement in the second year of Trajan, and of the martyrdom of Telesphorus in the first year of Antoninus Pius. We may take it, therefore, that about 160 the death of St. Clement was believed to have been in 99.
Identity Origen identifies Pope Clement with St. Paul's fellow-labourer, Phil., iv, 3, and 80 do Eusebius, Epiphanius, and Jerome—but this Clement was probably a Philippian. In the middle of the nineteenth century it was the custom to identity the pope with the consul of 95, T. Flavius Clemens, who was martyred by his first cousin, the Emperor Domitian, at the end of his consulship. But the ancients never suggest this, and the pope is said to have lived on till the reign of Trajan. It is unlikely that he was a member of the imperial family. The continual use of the Old Testament in his Epistle has suggested to Lightfoot, Funk, Nestle, and others that he was of Jewish origin. Probably he was a freedman or son of a freedman of the emperor's household, which included thousands or tens of thousands. We know that there were Christians in the household of Nero (Phil., iv, 22). It is highly probable that the bearers of Clement's letter, Claudius Ephebus and Valerius Vito, were of this number, for the names Claudius and Valerius occur with great frequency in inscriptions among the freedmen of the Emperor Claudius (and his two predecessors of the same gens) and his wife Valeria Messalina. The two messengers are described as "faithful and prudent men, who have walked among us from youth unto old age unblameably ", thus they were probably already Christians and living in Rome before the death of the Apostles about thirty years earlier. The Prefect of Rome during Nero's persecution was Titus Flavius Sabinus, elder brother of the Emperor Vespasian, and father of the martyred Clemens. Flavia Domitilla, wife of the Martyr, was a granddaughter of Vespasian, and niece of Titus and Domitian; she may have died a martyr to the rigours of her banishment The catacomb of Domitilla is shown by existing inscriptions to have been founded by her. Whether she is distinct from another Flavia Domitilla, who is styled "Virgin and Martyr", is uncertain. (See FLAVIA DOMITILLA and NEREUS AND ACHILLEUS) The consul and his wife had two sons Vespasian and Domitian, who had Quintilian for their tutor. Of their life nothing is known. The elder brother of the martyr Clemens was T. Flavius Sabinus, consul in 82, put to death by Domitian, whose sister he had married. Pope Clement is rep resented as his son in the Acts of Sts. Nereus and Achilleus, but this would make him too young to have known the Apostles.
Of the life and death of St, Clement nothing is known. The apocryphal Greek Acts of his martyrdom were printed by Cotelier in his "Patres Apost." (1724, I, 808; reprinted in Migne, P. G., II, 617, best edition by Funk, "Patr. Apost.", II, 28). They relate how he converted Theodora, wife of Sisinnius, a courtier of Nerva, and (after miracles) Sisinnius himself and four hundred and twenty-three other persons of rank. Trajan banishes the pope to the Crimea, where he slakes the thirst of two thousand Christian confessors by a miracle. The people of the country are converted, seventy—five churches are built. Trajan, in consequence, orders Clement to be thrown into the sea with an iron anchor. But the tide every year recedes two miles, revealing a Divinely built shrine which contains the martyr's bones. This story is not older than the fourth century. It is known to Gregory of Tours in the sixth. About 868 St. Cyril, when in the Crimea on the way to evangelize the Chazars, dug up some bones in a mound (not in a tomb under the sea), and also an anchor. These were believed to be the relics of St. Clement. They were carried by St. Cyril to Rome, and deposited by Adrian II with those of St. Ignatius of Antioch in the high altar of the basilica of St. Clement in Rome. The history of this translation is evidently quite truthful, but there seems to have been no tradition with regard to the mound, which simply looked a likely place to be a tomb. The anchor appears to be the only evidence of identity but we cannot gather from the account that it belonged to the scattered bones. (See Acta SS., 9 March, II, 20.) St. Clement is first mentioned as a martyr by Rufinus (c. 400). Pope Zozimus in a letter to Africa in 417 relates the trial and partial acquittal of the heretic Caelestius in the basilica of St. Clement; the pope had chosen this church because Clement had learned the Faith from St. Peter, and had given his life for it (Ep. ii). He is also called a martyr by the writer known as Praedestinatus (c. 430) and by the Synod of Vaison in 442. Modern critics think it possible that his martyrdom was suggested by a confusion with his namesake, the martyred consul. But the lack of tradition that he was buried in Rome is in favour of his having died in exile.
The Basilica
The church of St. Clement at Rome lies in the valley between the Esquiline and Coelian hills, on the direct road from the Coliseum to the Lateran. It is now in the hands of the Irish Province of Dominicans. With its atrium, its choir enclosed by a wall, its ambos, it is the most perfect model of an early basilica in Rome, though it was built as late as the first years of the twelfth century by Paschal II, after the destruction of this portion of the city by the Normans under Robert Guiscard. Paschal II followed the lines of an earlier church, on a rather smaller scale, and employed some of its materials and fittings The marble wall of the present choir is of the date of John II (533-5). In 1858 the older church was unearthed, below the present building, by the Prior Father Mulooly, O. P. Still lower were found chambers of imperial date and walls of the Republican period. The lower church was built under Constantine (d. 337) or not much later. St. Jerome implies that it was not new in his time: "nominis eius [Clementis] memoriam usque hodie Romae exstructa ecclesia custodit" (De viris illustr., xv). It is mentioned in inscriptions of Damasus (d. 383) and Siricius (d. 398). De Rossi thought the lowest chambers belonged to the house of Clement, and that the room immediately under the altar was probably the original of the saint. These chambers communicate with a shrine of Mithras, which lies beyond the apse of the church, on the lowest level. De Rossi supposed this to be a Christian chapel purposely polluted by the authorities during the last persecution. Lightfoot has suggested that the rooms may have belonged to the house of T. Flavius Clemens the consul, being later mistaken for the dwelling of the pope; but this seems quite gratuitous. In the sanctuary of Mithras a statue of the Good Shepherd was found.


St. Columban
Feast: November 23
Feast Day:
November 23
540, Leinster, Ireland
23 November 615
Major Shrine:
Abbey church at Bobbio

This great missionary abbot founded monastic centers in France, Switzerland, and Italy that became centers of evangelization and learning for the whole area. He was a monk of the monastery of Bangor in north Ireland, founded by St. Comgall, one of the notable monastic founders of Ireland.
At Bangor, sanctity and scholarship were prized, and St. Columban became a teacher in the monastic school there. He was born in Leinster, and after a youthful struggle he lived at Cluain Inis for a time. After thirty years at Bangor, he received Comgall's permission to spread the Gospel on the continent of Europe, and taking twelve companions with him he settled in Gaul where the devastation of the barbarian invasions had completely disrupted civil and religious life. Invited by the Merovingian King Childebert, he founded a monastic center in Burgundy at Annegray and two others at Luxeuil and Fontaines. From these three monasteries over two hundred foundations were made, and Columban composed for these monasteries two monastic rules.
With the zeal of a prophet, he attacked the immoral court life of the Merovingian kings, the lax local clergy, and introduced to the continent the Irish penitential system, which became the basis for private confession. Reproving a local king for his immoral life, Columban was expelled from Burgundy, traversed France and Germany, leaving disciples behind to found monasteries, and crossed the Alps to found his most famous monastery at Bobbio in Italy.
He was a firm opponent of Arianism, wrote letters to popes on the religious issues of the day, and left a legacy of writings that deeply influenced the monasticism that came after him.
He impressed his contemporaries as a giant of a man in mind and spirit, who revived religion on the continent and prepared the way for the Carolingian renaissance. He died at Bobbio on November 23, 615, and is buried in the crypt of St. Columban's Church there.