Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Saint May 3 : St. Philip Apostle - Patron of Pastry Chefs - #Apostle

St. Philip
APOSTLE



Feast Day:
May 3
Born:
Bethsaida, Palestine
Died:
80 at Hierapolis, Phrygia
Patron of:
hatters; pastry chefs

St. Philip was of Bethsaida, in Galilee, and called by our Saviour to follow him the day after St. Peter and St. Andrew. He was at that time a married man, and had several daughters; but his being engaged in the married state hindered him not, as St. Chrysostom observes, from meditating continually on the law and the prophets, which disposed him for the important discovery of the Messias in the person of Jesus Christ, in obedience to whose command he forsook all to follow him, and became thenceforth the inseparable companion of his ministry and labors. Philip had no sooner discovered the Messias, than he was desirous to make his friend Nathanael a sharer in his happiness, saying to him: <We have found him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write>, that is, the Messias; <Jesus, the son of Joseph, of Nazareth.> Nathanael was not so ready to give his assent to this assertion of his friend, by reason that the supposed Messias was reported to be of Nazareth. Philip therefore desired him <to come> himself to Jesus <and see>; not doubting but, upon his personal acquaintance with the Son of God, he would be as much convinced of the truth as he was himself. Nathanael complied, and Jesus, seeing him approach, said, within his hearing: <Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile.> Nathanael asked him, how he came to know him: Jesus repined: <Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee.> Nathanael, as two holy fathers explain the matter, calling to mind that the closeness of his retirement on that occasion was such, that no human creature could see him, owned him hereupon for the <Son of God>, and the <King of Israel>, or, in other words, the Messiah, foretold by Moses and the prophets. The marriage at Cana of Galilee happening three days after, to which Jesus and his disciples were invited, St. Philip was present at it with the rest. The year following, when our Lord formed the college of apostles, Philip was appointed one of that number, and. from the several passages of the gospel, he appears to have been particularly dear to his divine Master. Thus, when Jesus was about to feed five thousand persons, who had followed him into the wilderness, for the greater evidence of the miracle, and for the trial of this apostle's faith, Jesus proposed to him the difficulty of feeding the multitudes in that desolate place. And a little before our Saviour's passion, certain Gentiles, desirous to see Christ, made their first address to Philip, and by him and St. Andrew obtained that favor. Our Saviour, in the discourse he made to his disciples immediately after his last supper, having promised them a more clear and perfect knowledge of his heavenly Father than they had had hitherto, St. Philip cried out, with a holy eagerness and impatience: <Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.> From which words our Saviour took occasion to inculcate afresh a steady belief of his divinity, and perfect equality with the Father, saying: <So long a time have I been with you>, (teaching you who I am both by my words and actions,) < and have you not known me?> (If you beheld me with the eyes of faith such as I really am, in seeing me you would see the Father also, because) <I am in the Father, and the Father is in me.>

After our Lord's ascension the gospel was to be preached to the whole world by a few persons, who had been eye-witnesses of his miracles, and were enabled, by the power of the Holy Ghost, to confirm their testimony concerning him by doing the like wonderful works themselves. That this might be accomplished, it was necessary that the disciples should quickly disperse themselves into all parts of the world. St. Philip accordingly preached the gospel in the two Phrygias, as Theodoret and Eusebius assure us from undoubted monuments. St. Polycarp, who was only converted in the year 80, enjoyed his conversation for some time, consequently St. Philip must have lived to a very advanced age. It appears, from a passage of Polyerates, quoted by Eusebius, that he was buried at Hierapolis, in Phrygia, which city was indebted to his relies for its preservation by continual miracles, as is averred by the author of the sermon on the twelve apostles, attributed to St. Chrysostom. An arm of St. Philip was brought from Constantinople to Florence, in 1204, whereof we have an authentic history in the Bollandists. The Orientals keep his festival on the 14th of November; the Latins on the 1st of May, with St. James. His body is said to be in the church of SS. Philip and James, in Rome, which was dedicated to God under their name, in 560. The emperor Theodosius, in a vision, received from St. John the Evangelist, and St. Philip, the assurance of victory over the tyrant Eugenius, the morning before the battle, in 394, as Theodoret relates.
From St. Philip we must particularly learn an ardent love of God, and desire to see the Father. He asked only this favor, because this was his only desire. Is it ours? Do we feel it so perfect as to extinguish all inordinate earthly affections and desires in our breasts? Do we employ the proper means to attain to this happy disposition? To obtain it, let us employ the succor of this apostle's prayers, and by disengaging our hearts from corruption and vanity, become, in desires and affections, citizens of heaven. The pilgrim soul sees herself a stranger here on earth, and discovers nothing in this desert place of her banishment hut an abyss of vanity, and subjects of compunction, grief, and fears. On the other side, looking up to God, she contemplates the magnificence and splendor of his kingdom, which will have no end; its peace, security, sanctity without stain, delights without sorrow, unchangeable and incomprehensible joys; and she cries out in a holy transport: "O joy surpassing all joys, and without which there is no true joy, when shall I possess you? O, sovereign good, discover to me some ray of thy beauty and of thy glory; may my heart be set on flame by thy love, and my soul languish and wade with desire to be united to thee, to behold thee face to face, to sing thy praises night and day, to drink of the plenty of thy house, and of the torrent of thy delights, to be forever confirmed in thy love, and in some measure transformed into thee!" Such a soul seeks to hide herself from the eyes of men, to live unknown to the world; and, in retirement and repose, to apply herself to prayer, all her thoughts being taken up in contemplating the glorious things which are said of the blessed city of her God. All worldly enjoyments and distractions are insupportable to her, and she finds no comfort in this place of banishment but in singing the praises of her God, in adoring and in doing always his will, and in the sweet sighs and tears with which she seeks him, and begs him to reign perfectly in her affections by his grace and love, and to draw her speedily to himself out of this Babylon, in which every object increases her affliction, and inflames her desire, seeming to say to her: <Where is thy God?>


LIVES of the Saints by A. Butler

Free Catholic Movie : The Staircase : Based on a True Story - Stars Barbara Hershey


The Staircase (1998) TV Movie | 96 min | Drama, Western | 12 April 1998 (USA)  A small chapel's choir loft survives incomplete with no staircase, until one day a mysterious drifter, with a background in carpentry, arrives in town. Director: Karen Arthur Writer: Christopher Lofton Stars: Barbara Hershey, William Petersen, Diane Ladd

#BreakingNews 16 Killed in Catholic Church including Priest in Notre Dame de Fatima - in Cent. African Rep. - Please Pray

AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - A priest killed in an attack on a church in Bangui, Wednesday, 2 May 2018
 Agenzia Fides reports that an attack occurred in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. On Tuesday May 1st at least 16 people died, including a Catholic priest, Don Albert Toungoumale-Baba, killed in Notre Dame de Fatima church, not far from the PK5 district, inhabited mostly by Muslims. According to local Church sources contacted by Agenzia Fides "at the moment the situation is calm in Bangui, there are no reported shootings. We are awaiting a declaration by His Eminence Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Archbishop of Bangui, who has just returned from Europe". The incidents broke out when the security forces stopped a vehicle carrying Moussa Empereur, a member of a self-defense militia of the PK5. In trying to escape the arrest, he was wounded by the military. His men then attacked the security forces and unleashed the violence against civilians. An armed group attacked the parish of Notre Dame de Fatima, while don Albert Toungoumale-Baba and some faithful were celebrating Mass on the occasion of the anniversary of St. Joseph. "The priest who was killed was not the parish priest of Notre Dame of Fatima, but a Central African priest (one of the oldest of the diocese of Bangui), who was there for the celebration as chaplain of the Fraternité Saint Joseph movement", say Fides sources. The Notre Dame de Fatima Church suffered a bloody assault on 28 May 2014, during which 18 faithful were killed (see Fides 30/5/2014). According to a testimony from the local press, "an angry mob decided to transport the body of the priest killed to the Presidency. The procession passed through Lakouanga neighborhood, where a mosque was destroyed and two men were burned alive. The procession reached the center of the city before being dispersed near the Presidency". Doctors Without Borders said that an angry mob had gathered in front of the NGO hospital in the Sica district, threatening to destroy the hospital and hindering the access of ambulances. The UN Mission in Central Africa (MINUSCA) and the President of the Republic, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, have invited the population to keep calm. (L.M.) (Edited from Agenzia Fides, 2/5/2018

Pope Francis "...with the power of the Holy Spirit, we baptize people, baptize adults, children, everyone." FULL TEXT Audience + Video





POPE FRANCIS

GENERAL AUDIENCE

St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Catechesis on Baptism: 4. Source of life

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Continuing the reflection on Baptism, today I would like to dwell on the central rites, which take place at the baptismal font.

Let us first consider water, on which the power of the Spirit is invoked so that it may have the strength to regenerate and renew (cf. Jn 3: 5 and Tt 3: 5). Water is the matrix of life and well-being, while its lack causes the extinguishing of all fruitfulness, as it happens in the desert; water, however, can also be a cause of death, when it submerges in its waves or in large quantities overwhelms everything; finally, water has the ability to wash, clean and purify.

Starting from this universally recognized natural symbolism, the Bible describes the interventions and promises of God through the sign of water. However, the power to forgive sins does not lie in the water itself, as Sant'Ambrogio explained to the newly baptized: "You have seen water, but not every water healed: heal the water that has the grace of Christ. [...] The action is of the water, the effectiveness is of the Holy Spirit "(De sacramentis 1,15).

Therefore the Church invokes the action of the Spirit on water "so that those who receive baptism will be buried with Christ in death and resurrect with him to immortal life" (Rite of the Baptism of Children, No. 60). The prayer of blessing says that God has prepared the water "to be a sign of Baptism" and recalls the main biblical prefigurations: on the waters of the origins the Spirit was heaped to make them a seed of life (cf. Gen 1: 1-2); the water of the deluge marked the end of sin and the beginning of new life (cf. Gen 7: 6-8,22); through the water of the Red Sea the sons of Abraham were freed from the slavery of Egypt (cf. Ex 14: 15-31). In connection with Jesus, we recall the baptism in the Jordan (cf. Mt 3: 13-17), the blood and water poured out from his side (cf. Jn 19: 31-37), and the mandate to the disciples to baptize all peoples in the name of the Trinity (cf. Mt 28,19). Strengthened by this memory, God is asked to instill in the water of the fountain the grace of Christ who died and rose again (cf. Rite of the Baptism of Children, No. 60). And so, this water is transformed into water that carries within it the power of the Holy Spirit. And with this water with the power of the Holy Spirit, we baptize people, baptize adults, children, everyone.

Sanctified the water of the source, it is necessary to arrange the heart to access Baptism. This happens with the renunciation of Satan and the profession of faith, two acts closely connected to each other. To the extent that I say "no" to the suggestions of the devil - he who divides - I am able to say "yes" to God who calls me to conform to Him in thoughts and deeds. The devil divides; God always unites the community, the people in one people. It is not possible to adhere to Christ by laying conditions. It is necessary to detach oneself from certain bonds in order to be able to really embrace others; either you're fine with God or you're fine with the devil. This is why renunciation and the act of faith go together. It is necessary to cut bridges, leaving them behind, to undertake the new Way that is Christ.

The answer to the questions - "Give up Satan, all his works, and all his seductions?" - is formulated to the first person singular: "I renounce". And in the same way the faith of the Church is professed, saying: "I believe". I renounce and I believe: this is the basis of Baptism. It is a responsible choice, which demands to be translated into concrete gestures of trust in God. The act of faith presupposes a commitment that Baptism itself will help to maintain with perseverance in the various situations and trials of life. Let us remember the ancient wisdom of Israel: "Son, if you present yourself to serve the Lord, prepare yourself to temptation" (Sir 2: 1), that is, prepared for the struggle. And the presence of the Holy Spirit gives us the strength to fight well.

Dear brothers and sisters, when we dip our hands in the blessed water - entering a church we touch the holy water - and we make the sign of the Cross, we think with joy and gratitude to the Baptism we received - this blessed water reminds us of Baptism - and we renew our "Amen" - "I am happy" -, to live immersed in the love of the Most Holy Trinity.

Greetings:

Je suis heureux de saluer les pèlerins venus de France et de divers pays francophones, en particulier les jeunes du diocese de Rouen avec leur évêque Mgr Lebrun et les jeunes du diocese de Saint-Brieuc avec leur évêque Mgr Moutel. Quand nous faisons le signe de la croix en plongeant notre main dans l'eau bénite, puissions-nous penser avec reconnaissance au baptême reçu et renouveler notre "Amen", pour vivre immergés dans l'amour de la Sainte Trinité. Que Dieu vous bénisse!'
 [I am pleased to greet the Francophone-speaking pilgrims, in particular the young people of Rouen with their Bishop Mons. Lebrun and the youth of Saint Brieuc with their Bishop Mons. Moute. When we make the sign of the cross by immersing our hands in holy water, we can think gratefully about the baptism received and renew our "Amen" to live immersed in the love of the Holy Trinity. God bless you!]
 I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today's Audience, especially those from the United Kingdom, India, Thailand, Canada and the United States of America. In a special way, I greet the members of the Catholic Extension Society of the United States, with gratitude for their contribution to the work of rebuilding in Puerto Rico. In the joy of the Risen Christ, I invoke upon you and your families. May the Lord bless you all!
Einen herzlichen Gruß richte ich an die Pilger deutscher Sprache. Das Taufgedächtnis, das wir in der Osterliturgie feiern, führt uns unsere lebendige Beziehung zu Christus vor Augen und macht uns bereit, ihm in der Liebe zu den Brüdern und Schwestern zu folgen. Gott marks euch und eure Familien!
[I address a cordial greeting to the German-speaking pilgrims. The remembrance of our Baptism, which we celebrate in the Liturgy of Easter, reminds us of our living bond with Christ, and makes us available to follow him in charity to our brothers and sisters. God bless you and your families.]
I cordially greet a los peregrinos de lengua española, en particular a los grupos provenientes de España y Latinoamérica. Los invitation to que hagan memory agradecida de su bautismo, y a que renueven con alegría y convencimiento el compromiso que sellaron aquel día, de mode que vivan siempre inmersos en el amor de Dios Father, Hijo y Espíritu Santo. Muchas gracias. Dirijo uma cordial saudação aos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, presentes nesta Audiência, nomeadamente aos grupos vindos de Portugal and do Brasil. Queridos amigos, a graça do batismo must frutificar num caminho de santidade feito de pequenos, mas profundos, gestos concretos de confiança em Deus and de amor ao próximo. Que Deus vos abençoe!
[I address a cordial greeting to the Portuguese-speaking pilgrims present at this audience, in particular to groups from Portugal and Brazil. Dear friends, the grace of baptism is directed to fructify in a journey of holiness made by small, but profound, concrete gestures of trust in God and love of neighbor. God bless you!]
أرحب بالحجاج الناطقين باللغة العربية, وخاصة بالقادمين من الشرق الأوسط. أيها الإخوة والأخوات الأعزاء, تذكروا على الدوام أن الكفر بالخطيئة وبإغراءات الشر وبالشيطان, والإيمان بكل ما تؤمن به الكنيسة, ليست أفعالا موقتة, تنحصر بلحظة المعمودية; بل هي مواقف ترافق نمو ونضوج الحياة المسيحية. ليبارككم الرب! [I extend a cordial welcome to the Arab-speaking pilgrims, especially those from the Middle East! Dear brothers and sisters, always remember that the renunciation of sin, the seductions of evil, and Satan, is what the Church believes; they are not temporary actions, limited to the moment of Baptism, but attitudes that accompany all the growth and maturation of Christian life. The Lord bless you!] Pozdrawiam serdecznie Polakow, in szczególnie delegację Caritas Polska wraz z młodzieżą z Syrii, przybyłych do Rzymu specjalnym busem, Mobilna ambasada Young Caritas, którzy inicjują kampanię uwrażliwienia społeczeństwa na Problemy ludzi najbiedniejszych, promują wolontariat Młodzieży, akcje Informacyjna the pomoc dla ofiar prześladowań w Syrii. Duchowym znakiem projektu Bus Young Caritas będzie peregrynacja Obrazu Matki Bożej z Aleppo. W nabożeństwach majowych zawierzajcie Maryi, Królowej Polski, sprawy całego Kościoła, Ojczyzny i waszych rodzin. Proście o pokój na świecie, in zwłaszcza na Bliskim Wschodzie. Z serca wam błogosławię. [I cordially greet the Poles, and especially the delegation of the Polish Caritas, together with some young people from Syria, arrived in Rome with a special bus, the mobile Embassy of the Caritas Youth, which begin a campaign that aims to raise awareness of society to the problems of the poorest; promote youth volunteering and help for victims of persecution in Syria. The spiritual sign of the Bus Young Caritas project will be the pilgrimage of the Image of Our Lady of Aleppo. During the functions of the month of May entrusted to Mary, Queen of Poland, the life of the Church, your country and your families. Pray for peace in the world, and especially in the Middle East. I warmly bless you.]
Radosno pozdravljam sve hrvatske hodočasnike, a osobito voditelje i učenike Katoličke škole "Sveti Josip" iz Sarajeva, u Bosni i Hercegovini. Dragi mladi, još uvijek mi je živ u srcu naš susret u Sarajevu 2015 godine, osobito vaša radosna prisutnost te vaša žeđ za istinom i idealima. Potičem vas da se približavate sve više Kristu, kako biste u punini živjeli svoj život. Crkva računa na vas: budite uvijek velikodušni, hrabri i puni nade. Od srca vas blagoslivljam! Hvaljen Isus i Marija! [I greet with joy the Croatian pilgrims, especially the leaders and students of the "Saint Joseph" Catholic School of Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dear young people, I still live in our hearts at our meeting in Sarajevo in 2015, above all your festive presence, your thirst for truth and ideals. I urge you to adhere more and more to Christ, to live your existence fully. The Church counts on you: always be generous, courageous and full of hope. I bless you from my heart. May Jesus and Mary be praised!] * * * I extend a cordial welcome to the faithful of the Italian language. In particular, I greet the priests of the Pontifical International Missionary College and of the Pontifical Spanish College San José of Rome; the parish of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Star in Stornella; the Laboratory Association of the hope of Ascoli Piceno and the Tuscan Chefs union. I am pleased to welcome the pilgrims from the city of Palermo, accompanied by their Pastor Mons. Corrado Lorefice. I encourage everyone to be faithful to Christ, the source of our hope, to make the joy of the Gospel shine everywhere. A special thought for the young, the elderly, the sick and the newlyweds. Today there is the memory of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. His holiness, associated with sound doctrine, sustains faith and strengthens the Christian witness of each one.

How to Say the Rosary - Easy Guide to SHARE - #Rosary - #Prayer will Change the World!

PLEASE SHARE FOR THIS MONTH OF THE ROSARY - 
Make the Sign of the Cross and say the
 "Apostles' Creed."
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ,
His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Sprit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.
Say the "Our Father."
Say three "Hail Marys."
Say the "Glory be to the Father."
 Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
HAIL MARY, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death. Amen.
GLORY BE to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Announce the First Mystery; then say the "Our Father."
Say ten "Hail Marys," while meditating on the Mystery.
Say the "Glory be to the Father."
Announce the Second Mystery; then say the "Our Father." Repeat 6 and 7 and continue with Third, Fourth and Fifth Mysteries in the same manner.
JOYFUL MYSTERIES
The First Joyful Mystery
THE ANNUNCIATION
The Second Joyful Mystery
THE VISITATION
The Third Joyful Mystery
THE NATIVITY
The Fourth Joyful Mystery
THE PRESENTATION
The Fifth Joyful Mystery
THE FINDING OF JESUS IN THE TEMPLE
LUMINOUS MYSTERIES
The First LuminousMystery
THE BAPTISM OF JESUS
The Second Luminous Mystery
THE WEDDING FEAST AT CANA
The Third Luminous Mystery
THE PROCLAIMATION OF THE KINGDOM
The Fourth Luminous Mystery
THE TRANSFIGURATION
The Fifth Luminous Mystery
THE LAST SUPPER

SORROWFUL MYSTERIES
The First Sorrowful Mystery
THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN
The Second Sorrowful Mystery
THE SCOURGING AT THE PILLAR
The Third Sorrowful Mystery
THE CROWNING WITH THORNS
The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery
THE CARRYING OF THE CROSS
The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery
THE CRUCIFIXION

GLORIOUS MYSTERIES
The First Glorious Mystery
THE RESURRECTION
The Second Glorious Mystery
THE ASCENSION
The Third Glorious Mystery
THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Fourth Glorious Mystery
THE ASSUMPTION
The Fifth Glorious Mystery
THE CORONATION
same manner.
After the Rosary:
HAIL, HOLY QUEEN, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray. O GOD, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
After each decade say the following prayer requested by the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima: "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy."

As suggested by the Pope John Paul II the Joyful mysteries are said on Monday and Saturday, the Luminous on Thursday, the Sorrowful on Tuesday and Friday, and the Glorious on Wednesday and Sunday (with this exception: Sundays of Christmas season - The Joyful; Sundays of Lent - Sorrowful)
FOR NOVENA PRAYERS AND MORE LIKE US ON FACEBOOK NOW





Beautiful #ProLife Letter by Bishop in Ireland "As Voters, We are the Unborn Baby’s last line of defence.....no Referendum can change moral Truth."

Pastoral message of Bishop Denis Brennan on the Right to Life

FULL TEXT Press Release from the Bishops of Ireland:
Summary
Life is a sacred gift, it is God given. As parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, uncles, aunts and cousins – we are asked to reflect on the blessedness of the life we have been given, and the gravity of the decision we now face.
In a world where people fight so hard to win human rights, we in Ireland are being asked to take a right away, and the most fundamental right of all at that, the right to life.
As voters, we are the unborn baby’s last line of defence.
Ask God’s guidance at this time that you might speak and act both wisely and warmly. Respect others and offer truth with gentleness and care.
I ask priests to be instruments of mercy, dispensing freely the mercy of God to any person who seeks to emerge from the regret they experience, in having had an abortion in the past.
That a person might consider the termination of pregnancy as the only option they have in difficult circumstances challenges us all to discern an ever more supportive approach that lovingly penetrates the frightening and lonely places in which some mothers and fathers find themselves, especially in those cases where they believe they have no other choice but termination.
What repeal would mean is very clear, namely that the unborn boy or girl whose heart beats at 21 days – and the older unborn baby who has all of her / his vital organs at twelve weeks – will have no rights at all in Irish law, should people vote yes to repeal. This twelve-week-old unborn baby – who is now enjoying for the first time the ability to kick, to move and to yawn – would, in the first stretches of young life, be without the basic protection of the right to life itself.
A face without rights is not compatible with either reason or faith.
No referendum can change moral truth. The direct and intentional killing, of an unborn human being, would be just as immoral the day after it was ‘legalised’, as it had been, the day before. That any person, at any age, would have no rights at all is not, I believe, what a majority of Irish people want. This is what repeal proposes and will come to mean were it to pass.
As voters, we are the unborn baby’s last line of defence. I ask that you weigh carefully this responsibility and act in the best interest of the unborn child.
Pastoral LetterAs you are aware, the government has decided to call a referendum for Friday 25 May when the proposal to remove the Eighth Amendment from our Constitution will be put before us.
The Eighth Amendment affords an equal right to life, both to the unborn baby, and to the mother. The proposal to remove this amendment is a matter of profound importance and it deserves our closest and most immediate attention.
In light of the importance of the choice before us, I have decided to write to you the people of the Diocese of Ferns directly.
1. The Gift of Life
Life is sacred. As Christians, we value life as a gift from God. The gift of life has a particular resonance for all of us, most especially as we consider our own journey of life, and the lives of the members of our families, of our friends and colleagues.
Parents, in this letter I invite you to think back to the day that you first realised that you were going to become a mother or a father – the joy, the preparation, the anticipation – the unknown. That once young unborn child might now be seven or even twenty seven. And it probably only feels like it was yesterday. You can, I am sure, recount in precise detail, that special day when you welcomed your newly born son or daughter into this world – the awe and the wonder, the hopes and the dreams – as you thanked God for this preciously individual baby boy or girl.
Grandparents, you will have the added experience of remembering the joy and relief you experienced on hearing the news of the safe delivery of your first grandchild and the announcement of the name he or she was to be given. Life for a new generation was beginning, your family was again extending, a sense of pride mixed easily that day with a heartfelt prayer of gratitude.
Older siblings, do you remember the day your younger brother or sister first arrived home, and the sense of care, responsibility and protection that you felt at that time and probably still do? Your mother arrived home from the local hospital, house arrangements were often changed to make room for the new baby, a whole new set of challenges likely surfaced, as your younger brother or sister, settled in to home.
And then of course, there are the uncles and the aunts. I am sure you can vividly recount that special conversation or phone call – ‘you are going to be an uncle or an aunt’ – a new and beautiful chapter opened; that special relationship with a niece or a nephew, and him or her perhaps now not far off five or twenty five years of age. The Christening, the birthdays, starting school, changing schools, the many acts of kindness and bonding, a once newly born baby growing to full adult maturity.
Family in the widest sense – cousins, relatives up country or abroad – we all have some wonderful memories – the gift of life – and how grateful we all are, to have been given the opportunity of life ourselves, each of us being living proof of a God who loves each of us tenderly.
2. Loved and Cherished
There is also another reality too – the reality of those who find themselves in difficulties at a time of pregnancy – mothers to be who are abandoned, isolated or afraid, in financial or relational difficulties.
And there are also those rarer – but all too real – instances of pregnancy as a result of rape or incest. The unspeakable pain and darkness that is experienced here is profound.
That a person might consider the termination of pregnancy as the only option they have in difficult circumstances challenges us all to discern an ever more supportive approach that lovingly penetrates the frightening and lonely places in which some mothers and fathers find themselves, especially in those cases where they believe they have no other choice but termination.
Tremendous sensitivity and support needs to be shown in all such cases.
I am reminded here of a message included in last year’s Day for Life message: “Pope Francis, reminding us of the consistent teaching of the Church, describes abortion as a grave sin. As a compassionate pastor, however, he reminds priests that they are called to be ministers of God’s mercy. He also points out that we have not done enough to support pregnant women in desperate situations who see abortion as a quick solution.”
Pope Francis has clearly stated that ‘the right to life is the first human right. Abortion is killing someone that cannot defend him or herself.’
Following his leadership, such unequivocal teaching on the sanctity of life, should at all times be delivered with both clarity and charity, so that any doubts re the teaching of the Church in this matter are dispelled, while assistance and support are simultaneously extended to those distressed or in difficulty.
In particular here, I ask priests to be instruments of mercy, dispensing freely the mercy of God, to any person who seeks to emerge from the regret they experience, in having had an abortion in the past.
We must also be mindful of what is not an abortion. If a pregnant woman becomes seriously ill and needs treatment which may, as a secondary effect, put the life of her baby at risk, such treatment is always ethically permissible provided every effort has been made to save the life of both mother and baby. Abortion, by contrast, is the direct and intentional ending of an unborn baby’s life. This distinction is a most important one and it concurs wholeheartedly with Church teaching.
In presenting this point we think of those who have found themselves in such circumstances and we offer them our thoughts and prayers as they journey through their grief and loss. Support and assistance is provided through agencies, such as our own Church agency, CURA – www.cura.ie – helpline 1850 622 626.
3. No Rights At All
The recent Supreme Court ruling of 7 March last has made it very clear that should the Eighth Amendment be removed, an unborn child up to twelve weeks of age will have no rights at all in Ireland. This breath-taking possibility should stop all of us in our tracks. It is fundamentally at odds with both natural instinct and Christian outlook – an unborn child with no rights at all in Ireland.
In a world where people fight so hard to win human rights, we in Ireland are being asked to take a right away, and the most fundamental right of all at that, the right to life.
What repeal would mean is very clear, namely that the unborn boy or girl whose heart beats at 21 days – and the older unborn baby who has all of her/his vital organs at twelve weeks – will have no rights at all in Irish law, should people vote yes to repeal. This twelve-week-old unborn baby – who is now enjoying for the first time the ability to kick, to move and to yawn – would, in the first stretches of young life, be without the basic protection of the right to life itself. There is something obviously wrong here, should people vote yes to repeal.
As you know, every unborn child has a face at twelve weeks. A face without rights is not compatible with either reason or faith. That any person at any age would have no rights at all, is not, I believe, what a majority of Irish people want. This is what repeal proposes and will come to mean were it to pass.
As voters, we are the unborn baby’s last line of defence. I ask that you weigh carefully this responsibility and act in the best interest of the unborn child.
4. Always Human
An erroneous claim that surfaces from time to time is that the unborn baby is not human. Such a claim deserves our closest attention and refutation, as it is one of the key points on which the current debate within Irish society revolves. From conception to natural death, life is a continuum, for conception is the first moment of humanity, the beginning of a human’s journey through birth to adult life, concluding in old age and natural death.
We are always human. At no point are we ever something less or something different. At each moment, we are equipped with the characteristics appropriate to our stage of life. What is inherently a right to humanity – namely the right to life – cannot be either denied or taken away.
The right to life must never become of arbitrary value offering least protection to those who are least equipped to defend themselves, namely the unborn child, our little brother or sister.
5. We Cannot Change Moral Truth
None of us should ever have the power to decide on the death of another. To concede to any person the right to intentionally take the life of another – in this case the life of a voiceless unborn child – is not only to redefine human life as less than sacred, it is also to make a hierarchy of human life – where some lives are deemed to be of no value at all. In matters of life and death, none of us is a supreme judge who can decide the fate of another, least of all the vulnerable and the voiceless, the unborn child.
I ask you today to remember that no referendum can change moral truth. The direct and intentional killing, of an unborn human being, would be just as immoral the day after it was ‘legalised’, as it had been, the day before.
A very succinct summary of our Church’s understanding of the sacred nature of the unborn child exists. Drawing on Church teaching from the earliest times, the Church states: “Human life is sacred because, from its beginning, it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, Who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can, under any circumstance, claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being”
6. Abortion For Any Reason
This is not a referendum about abortion in limited circumstances. Many people seem to think this is the case, but it is not. If passed, the law will permit abortion on demand in the first three months of pregnancy. That is when about 90% of abortions take place. The vast majority of these will not involve hard cases. Both the mothers and their babies will almost always be perfectly healthy.
Removing the Eighth Amendment and replacing it with laws that allow for unrestricted abortion up to twelve weeks will strip the voiceless of their most fundamental right and make all talk of any other human rights irrelevant for them. The child with a life limiting condition will have even less protection, and will have no rights at all, at any stage, during pregnancy. In the words of Love is for Life – ‘sincerity and good intentions do not make wrong things right.’
It is being said that Irish women are having terminations anyway, but surely we can do more for women experiencing an unwanted pregnancy than legalising abortion? Let us offer a more positive alternative such as help and support.
To remove the Eighth Amendment will mean a very different Ireland. It will mean an Ireland, where access to abortion will become much more widespread, and freely available, and one in which the right to life, for the twelve-week-old unborn child, will be removed. In such circumstances we will clearly have forgotten that the unborn child is one of us, a member of the human family.
7. Journeying Together
As we journey towards the day of the referendum, I ask you to join with me in a few simple activities:
– Pray with me for the unborn child and for young parents to be.
– Acquaint yourself more and more with the journey to life of the unborn baby and the milestones reached in pregnancy by 12 weeks.
– Be ever more grateful for the gift of your own life and the lives of those you meet.
– Work where possible towards the elimination of any difficulties that young mothers and fathers might face in welcoming a child into the world – judgement, economic uncertainty, insecurity of accommodation or housing, isolation or lack of support.
– Continue to speak with your family and friends, in a calm and respectful way, about the reasons to vote NO in this referendum. Give close consideration to the phrases ‘Two Lives, One Love’ and ‘Value Both.’
– Give thought to how better we may promote a culture of life in Ireland. Many groups seek daily to highlight the value of life, to protect life and to promote life in the public square. This coalition of volunteers and witnesses is deserving of every encouragement and support we can muster.
– Commend them on their work. Consider their invitation to volunteer.
8. Prayer
In conclusion I invite you to recite daily with me the Prayer of Pope Francis for the unborn and to become ever more a ‘missionary for life’ as the date of the Referendum approaches:
All powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
That we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
Ask God’s guidance at this time that you might speak and act both wisely and warmly. Respect others and offer truth with gentleness and care.
Yours in Christ
+ Denis Brennan
ENDS
· Bishop Denis Brennan is Bishop of Ferns
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Katie Crosby 00353 (0) 86 862 3298
FULL TEXT Release of www.catholicbishops.ie

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday May 2, 2018 - #Eucharist


Memorial of Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 287

Reading 1ACTS 15:1-6

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers,
"Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,
you cannot be saved."
Because there arose no little dissension and debate
by Paul and Barnabas with them,
it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others
should go up to Jerusalem to the Apostles and presbyters
about this question.
They were sent on their journey by the Church,
and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria
telling of the conversion of the Gentiles,
and brought great joy to all the brethren.
When they arrived in Jerusalem,
they were welcomed by the Church,
as well as by the Apostles and the presbyters,
and they reported what God had done with them.
But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers
stood up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them
and direct them to observe the Mosaic law."

The Apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter. 

Responsorial PsalmPS 122:1-2, 3-4AB, 4CD-5

R. (see 1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
"We will go up to the house of the LORD."
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 15:4A, 5B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 15:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples."

#BreakingNews Update on Relations with China "...formal Agreement between the two does not seem imminent."

Vatican News Release: 
Dialogue with China: There is no magic wand
Although a number of recent signs may indicate that important steps are being made in the Holy See’s dialogue with China, any formal Agreement between the two does not seem imminent. Sergio Centofanti and Fr Bernd Hagenkord, SJ Contacts between representatives of the Holy See and the People's Republic of China have been underway for some time. Their aim is to attempt to resolve problems regarding the Church in that country, in a constructive and non-confrontational way. These problems include, first and foremost, the delicate issue of appointing Bishops. The Church’s approach is a pastoral one that intends initiating a form of cooperation that can be beneficial for all. By no means does it presume to be able to solve all existing problems with the wave of a magic wand. Because there isn’t one.
In an interview with Italian newspaper, "La Stampa", Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said: "As is well known, with the advent of the 'New China', there have been moments of serious contrast and acute suffering in the life of the Church in that great country. In the 1980’s, however, contacts were initiated between representatives of the Holy See and China. These may have had their ups and downs. But the Holy See has always maintained a pastoral approach, trying to overcome opposition and ensuring it remained open to respectful and constructive dialogue with civil authorities. Pope Benedict XVI represented the spirit of this dialogue well in his 2007 Letter to Chinese Catholics: 'The solution to existing problems cannot be pursued through a permanent conflict with the legitimate civil authorities' (No. 4), he wrote. During the pontificate of Pope Francis, ongoing negotiations continue to move along the line of constructive openness to dialogue and fidelity to the genuine Tradition of the Church".
The establishment of a new communist political regime in China was a consequence of Mao Tse Tung’s revolution. Its objective was the liberation of the masses from Western dominion, poverty and ignorance, from the oppression of the old ruling classes, but also from the idea of ​​God and religion. Thus began a particularly difficult historical phase and a time of intense suffering for many Catholic pastors and faithful.
Then, in the 1980’s, something started changing in China. Of course, communist ideology is still strong and there have been recent signs of increasing control in areas responsible for security and the regulation of socio-cultural life. But perhaps, this is also an attempt to impose order on an impetuous economic growth. On one hand, this economic boom has produced well-being, new opportunities and initiatives. On the other, it has disturbed the social fabric: the corruption rate has increased, traditional values have been weakened, especially among young people. In this context, ideological rigidity cannot adequately respond to such profound changes which, inevitably, touch the religious sphere as well.
The Holy See continues to make itself available, in a climate of respectful dialogue, in an effort to contribute to promoting the good of the Church and of society. Catholic faithful around the world need to understand that this fact concerns them closely: it is not about events happening in a distant country, but about the life and mission of the Church of which we are all members, regardless of where we live.
This is the first of a series of in-depth articles on the dialogue between the Holy See and China.
FULL TEXT from Vatican News

#BreakingNews Christian Pastor Beheaded in Mumbai, India by Maoist Rebels - RIP Rev. Abraham Topno


Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A Pentecostal clergyman was killed and beheaded last night just outside Ranchi, in the State of Jharkhand, said Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC).
The victim, Rev Abraham Tigga Topno, lived in the village of Ubasaal, the GCIC president told AsiaNews, Maoist rebels active in various Indian states are behind his death.
"The murder of the Pentecostal pastor took place on the outskirts of Ranchi. The criminals accused him of being a police spy," George said.
The clergyman was killed on his way home from the market. A note (picture 3) was found next to his lifeless body with the symbol of his killers, namely the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), an armed Maoist group.
The four-line note said, "Death to a police spy. Long live the PLGA. He was a police informer. This is the fate of all who go against us."
Sajan K George said the clergyman was beaten and later beheaded. Police confirmed that the Maoists chopped off Abraham Tigga’s head. “They then set a vehicle on fire in Tamar,” George said.
Police found the body today and took it to the coroner.
For George, in secular India, Christians are caught between a rock and a hard place, especially in Jharkhand, where an anti-conversion law is in place. FULL TEXT Release Asia News

Saint May 2 : St. Athanasius : Doctor : Patron of #Handicapped and #Orthodoxy


St. Athanasius
BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH


Born:
295 at Alexandria, Egypt
Died:
2 May 373 at Alexandria, Egypt
Major Shrine:
Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt
San Zaccaria, Venice, Italy
St. Athanasius, known as the "champion of orthodoxy," was  born about the year 297, in Alexandria. There is a tradition, related by Rufinus, that he first attracted the notice of Patriarch Alexander as he was playing at baptism on the seashore with other small boys. After watching young Athanasius perform the rite, the prelate called the boys to him and by questioning satisfied himself that the baptisms were valid. He then undertook to have these boys trained for the priesthood. Athanasius received an excellent education, not only in Christian doctrine, but also in Greek literature and philosophy, rhetoric, and jurisprudence. He knew the Scriptures thoroughly, and learned theology from teachers who had been confessors during the terrible persecutions under Maximian. In youth he appears to have formed friendships with several hermits of the desert, especially with the great Antony, whose biography he was to write. He was reader to the patriarch, and in 318 became his secretary. During this period he wrote a discourse, <Against the Gentiles>, in which he attempted an explanation of the Incarnation and the doctrine of the Trinity.
In Egypt two strong and often divergent forces had early appeared in the Christian Church: the conservative hierarchy in Alexandria, represented by the patriarch or bishop, and the theologians of the schools, who cared little for tradition and stood for free reasoning on theological subjects. The leaders of the latter party had sometimes been obliged, like the famous Origen, to go into exile. There were also schisms over the distribution of authority in the Church and over doctrinal questions. It was probably about the year 323 that one Arius, a priest of the church of Baucalis, began to teach that Jesus, though more than man, was not eternal God, that he was created in time by the Eternal Father, and could therefore be described only figuratively as the Son of God. The patriarch demanded a written statement of these doctrines. With only two dissenting voices the bishops condemned them as heresy, and deposed Arius, together with eleven priests and deacons of Alexandria. Arius retired to Caesarea, where he continued to propagate his ideas, enlisting the support of Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia and other Syrian prelates. In Egypt he had already won over many of the metaphysicians, as well as Meletius, bishop of Lycopolis, and leader of a dissident group. Theology being the topic which most deeply engaged men's minds, the Arian controversy interested all classes of the population. The heretical propositions were publicized in the form of songs set to popular tunes, and these were chanted in the forums and carried by sailors from port to port.
Athanasius, as the patriarch's secretary, took a prominent part in this great Church struggle. It is probable that he even composed the encyclical letter announcing the condemnation of Arius. We know that he was present, as an attendant on Alexander, at the famous Council of Nicaea, summoned by the Emperor Constantine to determine matters of dogma. There the sentence against Arius was confirmed, and the confession of faith known as the Nicene Creed promulgated and subscribed. This gathering of churchmen influenced Athanasius deeply, and, as a modern writer has said, the rest of his life was a testimony to the divinity of the Saviour.
Shortly after this Alexander died, and Athanasius succeeded him, although he was not yet thirty. One of his first acts was a tour of his enormous diocese, which included the great monastic settlements, especially the Thebaid. He ordained a bishop for Abyssinia, where the Christian faith had recently been established. Yet in spite of his best efforts, there was strong opposition. The Meletians made common cause with the Arians, and the movement, temporarily discredited by the Council of Nicaea, was soon again rampant in Asia Minor and Egypt.
In 330 the Arian bishop of Nicomedia, Eusebius, returned from his exile and before long had persuaded the aging Constantine to write to Athanasius, bidding him readmit Arius into communion, in the interests of unity. Eusebius sent an ingratiating letter in defense of Arius, but Athanasius held to his conviction that the Church could have no communion with heretics who attacked the divinity of Christ. Then Eusebius wrote the Egyptian Meletians urging them to impeach Athanasius for personal misconduct. They brought charges that he had levied a general tribute of linen for use in his own church, and made other petty accusations. At his trial before the emperor, Athanasius cleared himself and returned in triumph to Alexandria, bearing with him a letter of approval from Constantinople.
His enemies now accused him of having murdered a Meletian  bishop named Arsenius, and summoned him to attend a council at Caesarea. Knowing that his supposed victim was in hiding, Athanasius ignored the summons. In 335 an order came from Constantinople to appear before another assembly at Tyre, packed by his opponents and presided over by an Arian who had seized the see of Antioch. Realizing that his condemnation had been decided on, Athanasius abruptly left the council and took ship for Constantinople. There he accosted the emperor as a suppliant in the street and obtained an interview. So completely did he vindicate himself that Constantine summoned the bishops to Constantinople for a retrial of the case. Then, for some unexplained reason, he suddenly changed his mind. Before the first letter arrived, a second was sent, confirming the sentence and banishing Athanasius to Treves. During this first exile, Athanasius kept in touch with his flock by letter.
In 337 Constantine died, shortly after his baptism by Eusebius of Nicomedia, and his empire was divided among his three sons, Constantine II, Constantius, and Constans. Many of the exiled prelates were now recalled. One of the first acts of Constantine II, who had sovereignty over Britain, Spain, and Gaul, was to allow Athanasius to return to his see. Two years later Constantine II was to be killed in battle in Aquileia. The patriarch reentered Alexandria in seeming triumph, but his enemies were as relentless as ever, and Eusebius of Nicomedia had completely won over the Emperor Constantius, within whose portion of the empire Alexandria was situated. New scandals were invented and Athanasius was now accused of raising sedition, promoting bloodshed, and keeping for himself corn intended for the poor. A Church council which met at Antioch again deposed him, and ratified an Arian bishop for Alexandria.
In the midst of all this confusion a Cappadocian priest named Gregory was forcibly installed as patriarch of Alexandria by the city prefect, pagans and Arians having now joined forces against the Catholics. Confronted unceasingly by acts of violence and sacrilege, Athanasius betook himself to Rome to await the hearing of his case by the Pope. A synod was summoned, but the Eusebians who had proposed it failed to appear. The result was a complete vindication of Athanasius, a verdict afterwards endorsed by the Council of Sardica. Nevertheless he found it impossible to return to Alexandria until after the death of Gregory, and then only because Emperor Constantius, on the eve of a war with Persia, thought it politic to propitiate his brother Constans by restoring Athanasius to his see.
After an absence then of eight years, Athanasius was welcomed back to Alexandria in 346, and for three or four years there was comparative peace. But the murder of Constans in 350 removed the most powerful support of orthodoxy, and Constantius, once he found himself ruler of both West and East, set himself to crush the man he now regarded as a personal enemy. At Arles in 353 he obtained the condemnation of Athanasius from a council of Gallic bishops, who seem to have been kept in ignorance of the importance of the issues. Two years later at Milan he met with more opposition from the Italian bishops, but when with his hand on his sword he gave them their choice between condemnation of Athanasius and exile, by far the greater number yielded. The few stubborn bishops were exiled, including the new Pope Liberius. He was sent into isolation in Thrace until, broken in body and spirit, he too gave his consent to the Arian decrees. Athanasius held on for another year with the support of his own clergy and people. Then one night, as he was celebrating a vigil in the church of St. Thomas, soldiers broke in. Athanasius was instantly surrounded by his people, who swept him out into the safety of darkness; but for six years thereafter he had to live in hiding. His abounding energy now expressed itself in literary composition, and to this period are ascribed his chief writings, including a <History of the Arians>, three letters to Serapion, a defense of his position to Constantius, and a treatise on the synods of Rimini and Seleucia.
The death of Constantius in 361 was followed by another shift in the situation. The new emperor, Julian, a pagan, revoked the sentences of banishment enacted by his predecessors, and Athanasius returned once again to his own city. But it was only for a few months. Julian's plans for a reconquest of the Christian world could make little headway as long as the champion of the Catholic faith ruled in Egypt; he also considered it necessary to banish Athanasius from Alexandria as "a disturber of the peace and an enemy of the gods." During this fourth exile, he seems to have explored the entire Thebaid. He was in Antinopolis when two hermits informed him of the death of Julian, who, it was later ascertained, at that moment was expiring in distant Persia, slain by an enemy's arrow.
The new emperor, Jovian, a soldier of Catholic sympathies, revoked the sentence of banishment and invited Athanasius to Antioch, to expound the doctrine of the Trinity. Jovian's reign lasted only a year, and his successor in the East, Valens, succumbed to Arian pressure in Constantinople and in May, 365, issued an order banishing again all orthodox bishops who had been exiled by Constantius and restored by his successors. Once more the worn and aged prelate was forced to flee. The ecclesiastical historian, Socrates, tells us that Athanasius hid himself this time in his father's tomb, but a better- informed writer says that he spent the months in a villa in a suburb of Alexandria. Four months later Valens revoked his edict, fearing possibly a rising of the Egyptians, who were determined to accept no other man as bishop. Joyfully they escorted him back. Athanasius had spent seventeen years in exile, but his last years were peaceful. He died in Alexandria on May 2, 373. His body was twice removed, first to Constantinople, and then to Venice.
While the theological controversies which marked this period  may seem both complex and remote, they were an important milestone in the history of the Church, Athanasius rendering an outstanding service. The statement of Christian doctrine known as the Athanasian Creed was probably composed during his life, but not actually by him. In his works there is deep spiritual feeling and understanding, and as Cardinal Newman said, he stands as "a principal instrument after the Apostles by which the sacred truths of Christianity have been conveyed and secured to the world."
Text Source: Lives of the Saints - Publisher John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.