Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Saint December 12 : Our Lady of Guadalupe : #Guadalupe Miracle Image - Patroness of Americas and Unborn

THE STORY OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE On December 9, 1531, in Mexico, Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, a poor humble Aztec Indian who had recently converted to the Catholic faith. She asked him to go to the Bishop and tell him to build a church where she said “I will show and offer all of my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to my people.” Juan Diego did as she asked, but the Bishop asked for a sign that this message was really from Our Lady. Mary granted his request. On December 12, she showed Juan where the most beautiful Castilian roses were and told him to gather them. It was a miracle that the roses were there and in bloom because there was frost on the ground, and the ground was an infertile place where only cactus and thistles grew. After he gathered them, she helped arrange them in his tilma, or poncho, and told him to show them to the Bishop. When he brought them to the Bishop, the Bishop was amazed at the roses, but was even more amazed at what began to happen to Juan Diego’s tilma. Right before their very eyes, the image of Our Lady began to form on the cloth. The picture of Mary was beautiful and the Bishop fell to his knees. He had the church built at her request. The tilma is still intact after 470 years. The colors have not faded and the cloth has not deteriorated. It has been on display in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe for all this time. The manner in which Our Lady appeared on the tilma was very significant to the Aztec Indians. God had her dressed in a way that they would understand who she was. She was dressed in royal clothes that showed that she was very important, perhaps a queen. She also had the symbol of the cross at her neck which was the same symbol the Spaniards had on their ships and in the churches they built. She had a sash tied around her waist which meant that she was with child, for this was the way the Aztec women dressed when they were pregnant. And on her beautiful dress were all sorts of designs and flowers. But there was one flower on her dress that was very significant. It had only four petals. To the Aztecs, the four petal flower was the symbol for the true God, the God above all gods. This flower was located on her abdomen, right over the place where Jesus was growing inside of her. The Aztecs immediately understood that this was the mother of the true God! This appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe was very important to the history of our continent. You see, the Aztec Indians and the Spaniards were on the brink of war. The Aztec Indians’ culture and religion were very different from the Spaniards. They worshipped gods, to whom they would offer human sacrifices, often killing 50,000 people a year. The Spaniards, who were Catholic, were naturally disgusted by this. But they were cruel to the Aztecs too, treating them like animals and sometimes killing them for no reason. If a war had occurred, it would have been very brutal and the Spaniards and Christianity would have been totally wiped out. Mary’s appearance changed everything, however. It helped the Indians to embrace Christianity and it helped the Spaniards to treat the Indians with respect and as human beings. In the course of seven years, 6,000,000 Indians converted to the Catholic faith. This was the biggest conversion in the history of the Church! This is why Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of the Americas. Juan Diego, the humble man to whom she appeared, was canonized in the summer of 2002. Mary’s appearance also put an end to the worship of stone gods and the ritual of human sacrifice. We pray for Mary’s help today to bring an end to the human sacrifice of God’s children through abortion and to convert non-believers. Our Lady of Guadalupe is also called the Patroness of the Unborn.
Shared from the Archdiocese of Baltimore
SEE ALSO:

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe - #Miracle Prayer and #Chaplet - SHARE - #OurLadyofGuadalupe

https://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2018/12/novena-to-our-lady-of-guadalupe-miracle.html

#BreakingNews Man begins Shooting at Mass in Catholic Cathedral Killing 5 People including Himself - Please Pray

Man kills four and commits suicide during mass in the Cathedral of Campinas
Suspect fired on believers inside church in the central region on the afternoon of Tuesday (11), according to Samu and Fire Department. Four were injured after a crime.

Shooter kills four in the Cathedral of Campinas (SP) and kills himself.

A man killed four people and left four injured during a mass in the Metropolitan Cathedral, in central Campinas (SP), on the afternoon of Tuesday (11), according to the Samu, Fire Brigade and Military Police. The suspect in the shots at the church committed suicide next.

According to the Fire Department, the suspect would have entered the Cathedral with a pistol and a .38 caliber revolver, and if he had been killed in front of the altar after the crimes. He was identified by the Civil Police as Euler Fernando Grandolpho, 49, with (CNH) registered in Valinhos (SP).

The PM even said that the shooter had killed five people. Among the dead are: Sidnei Vitor Monteiro, 39, José Eudes Gonzaga Ferreira, 68, Cristofer Gonçalves dos Santos, 38, and Elpídio Alves Coutinho, 67.

As Mass had begun at 12.15; a man entered the Cathedral at about 1 o'clock; and he sat on one of the pews of the church. At the end of the celebration, he fired about 20 shots; and he killed four men: Sidney Vitor Monteiro, Jose Eudes Gonzaga, Cristofer Gonçalves dos Santos and Elpídio Alves Coutinho; and committed suicide. Four people were shot and injured;
The motivation of the crime is investigated by the police; The wounded were taken to Mário Gatti, Beneficência Portuguesa and HC of Unicamp;
The gunman was identified as Euler Fernando Grandolpho, 49 - he even worked as a prosecutor in the prosecutor's office, but left the agency in 2014
According to the Civil Police, the shooter had been treated for depression, was a recluse, lived with his parents, had a "strange profile" and had no criminal record.

The First District Police Commissioner, Hamilton Caviola Filho, saw images of the security circuit inside the church at the time of the action. He estimates at least 20 shots were fired.
Source: https://g1.globo.com/sp/campinas-regiao/noticia/2018/12/11/tiroteio-deixa-feridos-na-praca-da-catedral-no-centro-de-campinas.ghtml

Pope Francis at Mass "...prepare myself for Christmas at least with Peace: Peace of Heart, the Peace of Your presence..." #Advent #Homily


Pope at Mass: Let us allow ourselves to be consoled by God
At the Mass at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis speaks about consolation, which he says should be the normal state for Christians. But in today’s world, he says, the word “tenderness” has effectively been removed from the dictionary.
By Vatican News

The Lord comforts us with tenderness, like mothers who caress their children when they cry. In his homily at the daily Mass, Pope Francis encouraged us to allow ourselves to be comforted by God, and not to put up resistance.

Don’t resist consolation
The first reading, taken from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (40,1-11), is an invitation to consolation: “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God,” because “her guilt is expiated.” This, the Pope explained, refers to the “consolation of salvation,” to the good news that “we are saved.” The Risen Christ, in those forty days after His Resurrection, did just that with His disciples: He consoled them. But, Pope Francis continued, we tend to resist consolation, as if “we were safer in the turbulent waters of our problems.” “We bet on desolation, on problems, on defeat;” the Lord works very hard to console us, but encounters resistance. This can be seen even with the disciples on the morning of Easter, who needed to be reassured, because they were afraid of another defeat.

Tenderness: a word that has been struck from the dictionary
“We are attached to this spiritual pessimism,” Pope Francis said. He described how children who approach him during his public audiences sometimes “see me and scream, they begin to cry, because seeing someone in white, they think of the doctor and the nurse, who give them a shot for their vaccines; and [the children] think, ‘No, no, not another one!’” “And we are a little like that,” the Pope continued, but the Lord says, “Comfort, comfort my people.”

And how does the Lord give comfort? With tenderness. It is a language that the prophets of doom do not recognise: tenderness. It is a word that is cancelled by all the vices that drive us away from the Lord: clerical vices, the vices of some Christians who don’t want to move, of the lukewarm… Tenderness scares them. “See, the Lord has His reward with Him, His recompense goes before Him” – this is how the passage from Isaiah concludes. “Like a shepherd He feeds His flock; in His arms He gathers the lambs, carrying them in His bosom, and leading the ewes with care.” This is the way the Lord comforts: with tenderness. Tenderness consoles. When a child cries, a mom will caress them and calm them with tenderness: a word that the world today has practically removed from the dictionary.”

Consolation in times of martyrdom
The Lord invites us to allow ourselves to be consoled by Him; and this is also helpful in our preparation for Christmas. And today, the Pope said, in the opening prayer from the Mass, we asked for the grace of a sincere joyfulness, of this simple but sincere joy:

And indeed, I would say that the habitual state of the Christian should be consolation. Even in bad moments: The martyrs entered the Colosseum singing; [and] the martyrs of today – I think of the good Coptic workers on the beach in Libya, whose throats were cut – died saying “Jesus, Jesus!” There is a consolation within: a joy even in the moment of martyrdom. The habitual state of the Christian should be consolation, which is not the same as optimism, no. Optimism is something else. But consolation, that positive base… We’re talking about radiant, positive people: the positivity, the radiance of the Christian is the consolation.

The Lord knocks at the door with caresses
When we suffer, we might not feel that consolation; but a Christian will not lose interior peace “because it is a gift from the Lord,” who offers it to all, even in the darkest moments. And so, Pope Francis said, in these weeks leading up to Christmas, we should ask the Lord for the grace to not be afraid to allow ourselves to be consoled by Him. Referring back to the Gospel of the day (Mt 18,12-14), he said we should pray:

“That I too might prepare myself for Christmas at least with peace: peace of heart, the peace of Your presence, the peace given by Your caresses.” But [you might say] “I am a great sinner.” – Ok, but what does today’s Gospel tell us? That the Lord consoles like the shepherd who, if he loses one of his sheep, goes in search of it; like that man who has a hundred sheep, and one of them is lost: he goes in search of it. The Lord does just that with each one of us. [But] I don’t want peace, I resist peace, I resist consolation… But He is at the door. He knocks so that we might open our heart in order to allow ourselves to be consoled, and to allow ourselves to be set at peace. And He does it with gentleness. He knocks with caresses.
SOURCE: FULL TEXT Share from Vatican News va

#BreakingNews Catholic Priest Murdered by Shooting - RIP Fr. John Njoroge Muhia at age 56

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) – A Kenyan priest has been killed in a robbery. The morning of 10 December, Fr. John Njoroge Muhia parish priest at Kinoo, Kiambu, 25 km from Nairobi, was on his way to a bank in the town of Kikuyu to deposit the offerings of the faithful when he was approached by four bandits on motorcycles. On a bumpy road the criminals forced the priest stop and told him to hand over the bag he had in the car. When the priest hesitated one of the robbers pulled out a gun and opened fire shooting through the back window of the car. Some of the bullets reached Fr.Njoroge to the breast. The criminals grabbed the priest’s bag and mobile phone and drove away on their motorbikes. An eye witness in a nearby building site said he heard the shooting and saw two motorbikes make a speedy retreat. The priest was declared dead on arrival at the county hospital. "We are deeply saddened by the killing of Fr. Njorog. Murder of the Lord’s servants is unacceptable” said Fr. Francis Kiarie, who has worked with the priest killed. Fr. John Njoroge Muhia, 56, from Gatitu, was ordained a priest on 30 December 1994 and served at St Peter the Rock Parish in Kinoo. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 11/12/2018)

Wow Pope Francis makes Surprise Visit to Home for Sick and Challenged Children on Mercy Friday - Watch Video


Pope makes surprise “Mercy Friday” visits to Rome residences for the sick
Pope Francis pays surprise visits to two communities in Rome’s periphery that care for the sick and a group of intellectually challenged children.
By Seàn-Patrick Lovett

Pope Francis began the tradition of making surprise “Mercy Friday” visits during the Jubilee of Mercy in 2016. But he has continued making these visits since then as a way of putting in practice the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

On Friday December 7th he arrived, unannounced, at two live-in health care centres located in Rome’s southern outskirts. There he met with patients, residents and staff.

CasAmica: caring for needy patients and their families
The Pope left the Vatican around 3.30pm accompanied by the President of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, Archbishop Rino Fisichella. His first stop was the “CasAmica”, a non-profit organization that assists patients needing continuous hospital care, and their families, all of whom face severe economic difficulties. Most come from southern Italy, although the structure also houses patients and families from North Africa and Eastern Europe.

The first surprise visit
Pope Francis himself rang the doorbell and was greeted with amazement by both the staff and guests, some of whom were in the kitchen and others in the games room. The Pope greeted them all, one by one, stopping to play with the children. He then listened to the stories of two young 13 and 11-year old boys who are suffering from cancer and spent time with the other patients and their families.

Il Ponte e l’Albero: caring for the intellectually challenged 
“Il Ponte e l’Albero”, literally, “The Bridge and the Tree”, is so called because it is located near one of the bridges in Rome’s popular Laurentino district. The structure is essentially a therapeutic rehabilitation community caring for twelve intellectually challenged young people who come from particularly difficult family situations.

The second surprise visit
The Pope surprised the young people who were engaged in their afternoon recreational activities, and then sat down to speak and listen to them, answering their questions and hearing their stories.

Three of the boys had written to Pope Francis some months ago, asking him to visit them, telling him of the challenges they face, and describing the progress they are making thanks to the commitment of their doctors and health care operators.

Before leaving, the Pope gifted the community a 10kg (22lb) panettone, a typical Italian sweet bread loaf eaten traditionally at Christmas.

FULL TEXT Share from Vatican News va - Image Share from Vatican.va

#BreakingNews 100 Christians Arrested in China who Say "The persecution is a fair price to pay for the Lord".


Chengdu, abuse and police violence after the arrest of 100 Protestant Christians
One faithful arrested this morning. The Early Rain Covenant Church, led by Pastor Wang Yi, counts 500 faithful and 300 sympathizers. Despite being an underground church, members evangelize in the streets, have a seminary and a primary school. Wang Yi had criticized the "cult" of Xi Jinping and the new regulations on religious activities. "The persecution is a fair price to pay for the Lord".



Chengdu (AsiaNews) - About 100 Protestant Christians and seminary students were arrested in Chengdu (Sichuan) between 9 and 10 December. Some of the faithful, later released claimed they were "raped and abused" by the policemen who kept them in custody.

Among those arrested are Pastor Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong (photo 2), taken away by the police; two others, Guo Hai and his wife, were dragged away from home, leaving their two children alone.

Others arrested include: Jiang Ruolin, Ge Yingfeng, Zhu Hong, Xiao Hongliu, Ye Yin, Zhang Jianqing, Liu Yingxiu, deacon Zhang Guoqing, Elder Su and his wife, Xiao Yingshan and his wife, Song Engquang and his wife, Xiao Baoguang, Zhou Xiaojuan, Liu Daxuan, and Zhou Yong.

Many were arrested at the community headquarters; others were taken from their homes. The arrests continued even today, when Li Yingqiang, who had hidden himself in the first raid and warned the media, was also arrested.

All the arrested belong to the Church of the First Rain of the Alliance, an unofficial domestic Church, which is not recognized by the government, led by Pastor Wang Yi. Unlike many underground Protestant Churches, Early Rain Covenant Church practices its faith in an open way; publishes sermons and online studies; evangelizes on the streets of the city; has a seminary for future pastors and a primary school for 40 children.

The community has about 500 members and 300 sympathizers. It is not new to arrests and raids. Last June their headquarters was closed because the community had wanted to remember the people killed in the Tiananmen massacre with a memorial service. Some of his members were arrested two months ago because they were evangelizing in the street near the Chengdu station.

Although the police did not want to explain the reasons for the arrests, it is very likely that they are the consequence of the application of the new regulations on religious activities that prohibit unsanctioned gatherings. Pastor Wang Yi, described by many as "the most courageous" religious leader in China, has branded the new regulations as a tool to stifle religious freedom.

Recently, Wang Yi had also raised his voice  against the "cult of Caesar", after the patriotic associations forced Christians to place - often on the altars - the photo of President Xi Jinping.

Before being arrested, Li Yingqiang declared: "“Even if we are down to our last five, worship and gatherings will still go on because our faith is real…Persecution is a price worth paying for the Lord. We would rather live through it than to hide our faith and we hope more Chinese churches will speak up and stand with us.”
FULL TEXT Release from Asia News IT

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday December 11, 2018 - #Eucharist


Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent
Lectionary: 182

Reading 1IS 40:1-11

Comfort, give comfort to my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her service is at an end,
her guilt is expiated;
Indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD
double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill shall be made low;
The rugged land shall be made a plain,
the rough country, a broad valley.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

A voice says, "Cry out!"
I answer, "What shall I cry out?"
"All flesh is grass,
and all their glory like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower wilts,
when the breath of the LORD blows upon it.
So then, the people is the grass.
Though the grass withers and the flower wilts,
the word of our God stands forever."

Go up onto a high mountain,
Zion, herald of glad tidings;
Cry out at the top of your voice,
Jerusalem, herald of good news!
Fear not to cry out
and say to the cities of Judah:
Here is your God!
Here comes with power
the Lord GOD,
who rules by his strong arm;
Here is his reward with him,
his recompense before him.
Like a shepherd he feeds his flock;
in his arms he gathers the lambs,
Carrying them in his bosom,
and leading the ewes with care.

Responsorial PsalmPS 96:1-2, 3 AND 10AC, 11-12, 13

R. (see Isaiah 40:10ab) The Lord our God comes with power.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name;
announce his salvation, day after day.
R. The Lord our God comes with power.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord our God comes with power.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then let all the trees of the forest rejoice.
R. The Lord our God comes with power.
They shall exult before the LORD, for he comes;
for he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.
R. The Lord our God comes with power.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The day of the Lord is near:
Behold, he comes to save us.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 18:12-14

Jesus said to his disciples:
"What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost."

Saint December 11 : St. Damasus I : #Pope : Patron of #Archeologists

St. Damasus I
POPE
Feast: December 11


Information:
Feast Day:December 11
Born:304 in Rome, Italy
Died:11 December, 384 in Rome, Italy
Patron of:archeologists

Born about 304; died 11 December, 384. His father, Antonius, was probably a Spaniards; the name of his mother, Laurentia, was not known until quite recently. Damasus seems to have been born at Rome; it is certain that he grew up there in the service of the church of the martyr St. Laurence. He was elected pope in October, 366, by a large majority, but a number of over-zealous adherents of the deceased Liberius rejected him, chose the deacon Ursinus (or Ursicinus), had the latter irregularly consecrated, and resorted to much violence and bloodshed in order to seat him in the Chair of Peter. Many details of this scandalous conflict are related in the highly prejudiced "Libellus Precum" (P.L., XIII, 83-107), a petition to the civil authority on the part of Faustinus and Marcellinus, two anti-Damasan presbyters (cf. also Ammianus Marcellinus, Rer. Gest., XXVII, c. iii). Valentinian recognized Damasus and banished (367) Ursinus to Cologne, whence he was later allowed to return to Milan, but was forbidden to come to Rome or its vicinity. The party of the antipope (later at Milan an adherent of the Arians and to the end a contentious pretender) did not cease to persecute Damasus. An accusation of adultery was laid against him (378) in the imperial court, but he was exonerated by Emperor Gratian himself (Mansi, Coll. Conc., III, 628) and soon after by a Roman synod of forty-four bishops (Liber Pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, s.v.; Mansi, op. cit., III, 419) which also excommunicated his accusers.
Damasus defended with vigour the Catholic Faith in a time of dire and varied perils. In two Roman synods (368 and 369) he condemned Apollinarianism and Macedonianism; he also sent his legates to the Council of Constantinople (381), convoked against the aforesaid heresies. In the Roman synod of 369 (or 370) Auxentius, the Arian Bishop of Milan, was excommunicated; he held the see, however, until his death, in 374, made way for St. Ambrose. The heretic Priscillian, condemned by the Council of Saragossa (380) appealed to Damasus, but in vain. It was Damasus who induced Saint Jerome to undertake his famous revision of the earlier Latin versions of the Bible (see VULGATE). St. Jerome was also his confidential secretary for some time (Ep. cxxiii, n. 10). An important canon of the New Testament was proclaimed by him in the Roman synod of 374. The Eastern Church, in the person of St. Basil of Cæsarea, besought earnestly the aid and encouragement of Damasus against triumphant Arianism; the pope, however, cherished some degree of suspicion against the great Cappadocian Doctor. In the matter of the Meletian Schism at Antioch, Damasus, with Athanasius and Peter of Alexandria, sympathized with the party of Paulinus as more sincerely representative of Nicene orthodoxy; on the death of Meletius he sought to secure the succession for Paulinus and to exclude Flavian (Socrates, Church History V.15). He sustained the appeal of the Christian senators to Emperor Gratian for the removal of the altar of Victory from the Senate House (Ambrose, Ep. xvii, n. 10), and lived to welcome the famous edict of Theodosius I, "De fide Catholica" (27 Feb., 380), which proclaimed as the religion of the Roman State that doctrine which St. Peter had preached to the Romans and of which Damasus was supreme head (Cod. Theod., XVI, 1, 2).
When, in 379, Illyricum was detached from the Western Empire, Damasus hastened to safeguard the authority of the Roman Church by the appointment of a vicar Apostolic in the person of Ascholius, Bishop of Thessalonica; this was the origin of the important papal vicariate long attached to that see. The primacy of the Apostolic See, variously favoured in the time of Damasus by imperial acts and edicts, was strenuously maintained by this pope; among his notable utterances on this subject is the assertion (Mansi, Coll. Conc., VIII, 158) that the ecclesiastical supremacy of the Roman Church was based, not on the decrees of councils, but on the very words of Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18). The increased prestige of the early papal decretals, habitually attributed to the reign of Siricius (384-99), not improbably belongs to the reign of Damasus ("Canones Romanorum ad Gallos"; Babut, "La plus ancienne décrétale", Paris, 1904). This development of the papal office, especially in the West, brought with it a great increase of external grandeur. This secular splendour, however, affected disadvantageously many members of the Roman clergy, whose worldly aims and life, bitterly reproved by St. Jerome, provoked (29 July, 370) and edict of Emperor Valentinian addressed to the pope, forbidding ecclesiastics and monks (later also bishops and nuns) to pursue widows and orphans in the hope of obtaining from them gifts and legacies. The pope caused the law to be observed strictly.
Damasus restored his own church (now San Lorenzo in Damaso) and provided for the proper housing of the archives of the Roman Church (see VATICAN ARCHIVES). He built in the basilica of St. Sebastian on the Appian Way the (yet visible) marble monument known as the "Platonia" (Platona, marble pavement) in honour of the temporary transfer to that place (258) of the bodies of Sts. Peter and Paul, and decorated it with an important historical inscription (see Northcote and Brownlow, Roma Sotterranea). He also built on the Via Ardeatina, between the cemeteries of Callistus and Domitilla, a basilicula, or small church, the ruins of which were discovered in 1902 and 1903, and in which, according to the "Liber Pontificalis", the pope was buried with his mother and sister. On this occasion the discoverer, Monsignor Wilpert, found also the epitaph of the pope's mother, from which it was learned not only that her name was Laurentia, but also that she had lived the sixty years of her widowhood in the special service of God, and died in her eighty-ninth year, having seen the fourth generation of her descendants. Damasus built at the Vatican a baptistery in honour of St. Peter and set up therein one of his artistic inscriptions (Carmen xxxvi), still preserved in the Vatican crypts. This subterranean region he drained in order that the bodies buried there (juxta sepulcrum beati Petri) might not be affected by stagnant or overflowing water. His extraordinary devotion to the Roman martyrs is now well known, owing particularly to the labours of Giovanni Battista De Rossi. For a good account of his architectural restoration of the catacombs and the unique artistic characters (Damasan Letters) in which his friend Furius Dionysius Filocalus executed the epitaphs composed by Damasus, see Northcote and Brownlow, "Roma Sotterranea" (2nd ed., London, 1878-79). The dogmatic content of the Damasan epitaphs (tituli) is important (Northcote, Epitaphs of the Catacombs, London, 1878). He composed also a number of brief epigrammata on various martyrs and saints and some hymns, or Carmina, likewise brief. St. Jerome says (Ep. xxii, 22) that Damasus wrote on virginity, both in prose and in verse, but no such work has been preserved. For the few letters of Damasus (some of them spurious) that have survived, see P.L., XIII, 347-76, and Jaffé, "Reg. Rom. Pontif." (Leipzig, 1885), nn. 232-254.
Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia - Image source Google Images

Saint December 11 : St. Eulalia of Mérida - Virgin and Martyr of Spain

Saint Eulalia of Mérida is the best-known virgin martyr of Spain. She is praised by the Christian poets Prudentius and St Venantius Fortunatus. Praised by two Christian poets Two Christian poets Prudentius (348-413), a Spaniard, and St Venantius Fortunatus (535-605), who lived at Poitiers, France, have written poems about Eulalia. She is also the subject of a sermon by St Augustine and is mentioned in the Calendar of Carthage and Martyrology of Jerome. Prudentius’s account presents her as a consecrated virgin of noble family, who despised frivolity and luxury and showed austerity and strictness worthy of an older person. 
 Eulalia’s story 
The 7th century Acta present Eulalia as a girl of twelve, who was hidden by her mother in the countryside when the edict of Diocletian demanded that everyone sacrifice to the Roman gods (in AD 304). Eulalia, however, ran to the law court of the governor Dacian at Merida, professed herself a Christian, insulted the pagan gods and emperor Maximian, and challenged the authorities to martyr her. The judge’s attempts at flattery and bribery failed. 
Prudentius says that for her:
 Isis Apollo Venus nihil est, 
Maximianus et ipse nihil: 
illa nihil, quia factu manu; 
hic, manuum quia facta colit. 
 (Isis, Apollo and Venus are nothing, 
Even Maximian himself is nothing; 
They are nothing because they are made by hand, 
He, for he worships things made by hands). 
SPANISH MARTYRShe was then stripped by the soldiers, tortured with hooks and torches, and burnt at the stake, suffocating from smoke inhalation. She taunted her torturers all the while, and as she died a dove flew out of her mouth. This frightened away the soldiers and allowed a miraculous snow to cover her nakedness, its whiteness indicating her sainthood. A shrine over her tomb was soon erected. Her veneration Veneration of Eulalia was already popular with Christians by AD 350; relics from her were distributed through Iberia. Bishop Fidelis of Merida rebuilt a basilica in her honour around 560 AD. Her shrine was the most popular in Visigothic Spain. In 780 her body was transferred to Oviedo by King Silo. It lies in a coffin of Arab silver donated by Afonso VI in 1075. In 1639, she was made patron saint of Oviedo. Edited from Catholic Ireland.net