Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Please Help Christians in Pakistan - Tortured for their Faith in Christ

Rescue Christians is a Life Saving Organization... We began in 2010, and primarily work in Pakistan. We are a rescue mission, and have a team on the ground in Pakistan. Rescue Christians helps Christians who are pursued by mobs, or are wanted by the government. We bring them out of Pakistan, usually to Sri Lanka or Thailand. But now because of the recent government prevention of Pakistani Christians in these two countries, we are now forced to search for new terrain. We have also transported others into different safe houses within Pakistan. So far we have managed to rescue around 2000 Christians from persecution.
 One of the most rememberable missions we did, was the rescue mission of Tania Rubecca. She was kidnapped by Muslims and told to convert to Islam. When she refused they sold her into sex slavery. Her captives would, almost on a daily basis, tie her to a tree, cut her body with blades, burn her flesh with cigarettes, and rape her.  It was the most horrifying case we dealt with. We rescued her and her mother out of danger and got her hospitalized, and also paid her medical bills. 
 Part of her testimony can be found here:
 Our website is 
Save a Life by Donating: 
We allow people to give however much money they want. 
Please consider Donating to this Organization and help save Christians from Danger or Death...
You can give $5, $10, $50, or more. 
All of the money goes directly to saving Christians in Pakistan.

We are Shaped by Who we love - We have a Choice....

St. Clare said that who we love shapes us.

Some human beings consider themselves to be simply an organism whose shape is predetermined by genetics. When they become human is based on subjective analysis. Perhaps a human being starts when the shape is identifiable, or maybe when the first breath is taken postpartum, or when we can recognize in form and structure a viable life. Or maybe in defective shape, or inconvenient circumstances what is in the womb isn't even human -- at least to some.

This subjective take on the human person makes it easy not to love. It entombs the heart, squashes faith and submits an isolated and emotionally unprepared mind to defective reasoning. And so, when termination of a "fetus" or viability or disability in a "pregnancy" are spoken of, the emotion of love is removed -- the "who" is displaced by the "what". Thus, the heart and mind are moved to fear; and not a holy fear of an uncertain future, but an irrational/self-centered fear that is counseled about the "whatness" -- lifestyle changes that will be difficult if not impossible to manage, that will interfere with the ability to do what you want. It denies and ignores the protection of the "who" (mother, father and child) deserving of love and compassion.

It's a wonder that we have such trouble loving others around us, why we live in a world where inflicting pain has become a past-time, where we can turn a blind eye or even rationalize barbaric behaviors that exist in our midst. True, we may be horrified by events, but do we see the "who" -- do we love the "who" -- are we shaped by the "who" in those circumstances?

For instance, the genocide of Christians in Iraq is a martyrdom that has caused many a good soul outside the region to suffer as they witness the atrocities via the Internet. A collective Western gasp of horror over the events is audibly heard. Yet, very little is being done by any nation, to include our own anemic air strikes (perhaps for fear of another terrorist attack on our own soil). Did we simply need to look as if we've made some effort; to do something to alleviate some deep, nagging, yet inexplicable guilt in our conscience that has lost its meaning through years of neglect? Does it help us to suggest that we took care of the "what" in the situation? -- we calmed the fighting; we slowed the progression; we protected the region...

Did we love the people? Are we willing to make sacrifices to save the lives? Were our actions shaped by the "who"?

We can witness these crimes against humanity, be sickened by them in the moment and yet, because they are not happening here in our midst, we somehow feel immune to their effects because it is a "what" and not a "who" with which we are dealing. We insulate our emotions and move forward as if it doesn't have any impact on our lives. But it does, and it will have lasting effects if we continuously desensitize our hearts and our minds to evil while systematically rejecting love as a motivating force.

But, how can this be? How can we watch and turn away. Surely, we are not so desensitized as to not realize that these are people being tortured, raped and murdered.

To most, these are isolated images; they are no more a part of their reality than a zombie slaying cable show. There is no "who" -- only "what".

And so we are shaped; our culture is shaped by a philosophy devoid of a person being a person regardless of where or why they end up in a circumstance, be it the womb or at the hands of terrorists in Iraq. We are shaped by a culture that forgets that Love is a person, and without Him, we cannot possibly hope to rectify any atrocity; neither abortion nor genocide will see a decline as long as we continue to ignore the "who" -- formed in image and likeness -- involved and allow ourselves to be shaped by rationalizations and fear of losing our material situations.

Who we love shapes us. Not what we love, but Who we love.

We have a choice, a clear one: allow our lives to be shaped in the absence or Love, or let Love shape us so as to see Love in everything and everyone around us.
About the Author: Professor Kathy Vestermark, MA Theology
Professor Kathryn VestermarkProfessor Kathy Vestermark is a wife and mother of six children, one with significant special needs. She worked for 13 years in medical education at USUHS on a project to include families of children with special needs as faculty and advisors to medical education. She received her MA in Theology from CDU, and has put it to use as a Coordinator/Instructor of RCIA at her parish, Women's Bible Study facilitator, lecturer, writer of a Catholic blog and contributor to other Catholic/Secular books and publications. Professor Vestermark also serves as a Student Life Coordinator for the CDU Online Student Center.Her Blog:

Pope Francis leaves Vatican for 11 hour Flight to Korea but 1st Visits Our Lady's Basilica and Prays

Pope Francis boards plane for Seoul

Radio Vaticana Report: Pope Francis has just left Rome for Seoul at the start of his pastoral visit to Korea, the first papal visit to the country in 25 years. His plane is due to touch down in the South Korean capital at 1030 local time on Thursday.  His five-day visit coincides with the Church’s 6th Asian Youth Day gathering, while other highlights of his trip  include an open-air mass in Seoul’s World Cup stadium and the beatification of 124 Korean martyrs and a Mass for peace and reconciliation on the divided peninsula..
Our correspondent travelling with the Pope to Korea is Sean Patrick Lovett who earlier today visited a shrine to  some of those Korean martyrs who died for their faith. He told us how Korea is steeped in the blood of its martyrs who died during the waves of persecutions against Christianity in the 18th and 19th centuries. Shared from Radio Vaticana

Pope Francis at St Mary Major

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis visited the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome on Wednesday morning, just hours before his scheduled departure for Korea. The Holy Father reached the church - which is the largest dedicated to the Mother of God in the city, and the place where the founder of the Society of Jesus, St Ignatius Loyola, said his first Mass - at 11 AM. He arrived quietly, in his usual, low-profile conveyance, without a motorcade and without fanfare. He paused in prayer for a little more than a quarter-hour, and left behind a small bouquet of flowers. Pope Francis has visited St. Mary Major several times during the course of his Pontificate, starting with one on the day after his election. He has visited the Basilica before each of his international voyages, as well.

Today's Mass and Readings : Wed. August 13, 2014

Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 415

Reading 1EZ 9:1-7; 10:18-22

The LORD cried loud for me to hear: Come, you scourges of the city!
With that I saw six men coming from the direction
of the upper gate which faces the north,
each with a destroying weapon in his hand.
In their midst was a man dressed in linen,
with a writer’s case at his waist.
They entered and stood beside the bronze altar.
Then he called to the man dressed in linen
with the writer’s case at his waist, saying to him:
Pass through the city, through Jerusalem,
and mark a “Thau” on the foreheads of those who moan and groan
over all the abominations that are practiced within it.
To the others I heard the LORD say:
Pass through the city after him and strike!
Do not look on them with pity nor show any mercy!
Old men, youths and maidens, women and children–wipe them out!
But do not touch any marked with the “Thau”; begin at my sanctuary.
So they began with the men, the elders, who were in front of the temple.
Defile the temple, he said to them, and fill the courts with the slain;
then go out and strike in the city.

Then the glory of the LORD left the threshold of the temple
and rested upon the cherubim.
These lifted their wings, and I saw them rise from the earth,
the wheels rising along with them.
They stood at the entrance of the eastern gate of the LORD’s house,
and the glory of the God of Israel was up above them.
Then the cherubim lifted their wings, and the wheels went along with them,
while up above them was the glory of the God of Israel.

Responsorial Psalm PS 113:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. (4b) The glory of the Lord is higher than the skies.
R. Alleluia.
Praise, you servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
both now and forever.
R. The glory of the Lord is higher than the skies.
R. Alleluia.
From the rising to the setting of the sun
is the name of the LORD to be praised.
High above all nations is the LORD;
above the heavens is his glory.
R. The glory of the Lord is higher than the skies.
R. Alleluia.
Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high,
and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
R. The glory of the Lord is higher than the skies.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel MT 18:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church.
If he refuses to listen even to the Church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.”

RIP Fr. George Kosicki, CSB - Promoter of Divine Mercy

On August 12, 2014 Fr. George went peacefully home to the Father of Mercy he had served so long.Father George was an author, speaker, and teacher. He was also a hermit and a biochemist. But Fr. George Kosicki, CSB, was probably best known for his work with the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, spreading the message of Divine Mercy. He was the author of such books as Faustina, Saint for Our Times: A Personal Look at Her Life, Spirituality, and Legacy, Now is the Time for Mercy, John Paul II: The Great Mercy Pope Beatification Edition, and Divine Mercy Minutes with Jesus: Praying Daily on Jesus' Words from the Diary of St. Faustina.
Fr. Kosicki explained that "The Divine Mercy message is a call for a global consciousness. It's a prayer for the whole world. And if you don't realize the world is in bad shape, you are really in bad shape. The world, more than anything, needs mercy — mercy from one another and mercy from God."
He was asked some questions about his life in an interview:
How does living as a hermit help you stay focused on God? The solitude enables silence, which enables the Word of the Lord to be heard in my heart. I live each day offering, entrusting, trusting, rejoicing, smiling at the Lord, singing of His mercies, giving thanks. And in my hermitage, I've posted 3x5 cards all over the place with a very simple, but powerful, reminder to myself: "Trust in Jesus even more."
  You have a doctorate in biochemistry. 
Do you have any equations to share? Suffering + Love = Joy. Everyone is suffering. Everyone wants joy. But what we are missing is love. Love is the continual spiritual communion with God.
Edited from

New President of Turkey Wins Election Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Asia News Report: An uncertain future awaits Turkey after Erdogan's presidential victory
by NAT da Polis
With 52 per cent of the vote, most Turks are betting again on a strongman who rules in an authoritarian style and uses instrumentally their vote. Divisions within the opposition helped his success. Although he promises to be the president of all, he will have to deal with the economy and the demand for civil rights.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) - Early surveys were confirmed. Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be the first popularly elected president of the Turkish Republic, a state founded in 1923 on the basis of the secular ideas of Kemal Ataturk.
About 52 per cent of the electorate chose again Erodgan's style of politics. Based on an authoritarian and arrogant use of power, and an instrumental use of popular support, such a style is equally informed by contempt for those who think differently.
Erdogan's support is found among a majority of Turks, mostly devout Muslims and conservative, who began to share in the spoils of political and economic stability, which until recently only the Kemalist establishment enjoyed, that Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) provided since they came to power in 2002. And, as they say in Turkey, AKP politics are in the hands of Erdogan and Allah.  
The silent majority that represents the real Turkey is found in central Anatolia, as opposed to the west coast, which more and more oriented toward different values.
In his first statements after his victory, Erdogan said that will be the president of all 77 million Turks. He also noted that whilst he allowed Kurds to speak their dialect, the country's only language is Turkish. What is more, "Not just Turkey but Baghdad, Kabul, Damascus, Gaza, Aleppo, Bosnia, Skopje, Hamas and Jerusalem won today. The state and the real nation have become one." This confirms the neo-Ottoman pretentions of the "sultan" Erdogan.
Erdogan's propensity of dealing with those who oppose his political views with contempt and arrogance -using authoritarian methods such as blocking of Twitterand YouTube that tend to rouse opposition among those who are hostile to his authoritarian vision of politics - does not bode well. Indeed, his campaign was full of contempt and insults for his rivals, and not a real political programme.
With 52 per cent of the vote, Erdogan becomes the 12th president of Turkey, the first elected by universal suffrage. Nevertheless, according to some respected Turkish commentators, this result hides the divisions that run deep in Turkish society.
The rift between two major opposition parties, the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), is one of them. As such, it was an instrumental in preventing them from presenting a single candidate.
In fact, Erdogan maintained his votes, whilst many (about 1.8 million) of the 4.5 million votes lost by the two opposition parties went to Selahatin Demirtas, a Kurd who ran for the Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP). The other 2.8 million voters abstained. Demirtas ran on a platform to transform Turkish society outside of its traditional framework.
Erdogan's dream is to arrive to 2023, the centenary of the founding by Kemal Pasha of the Turkish Republic; however, he is facing a big obstacle, namely the economic and social needs of Turkish society.
In fact, Turkey requires a growth rate of at least 6 per cent within a balanced macroeconomic programme. However, a long-term economic framework requires a liberal democratic legal system and a sensible foreign policy, which Erdogan's authoritarianism certainly does not provide.

Now the opposition has a great responsibility, namely come up with alternative policies that can appeal to Turkish voters. ASIA NEWS IT

Pope Francis writes urgently to UN for Peace in Iraq - Full Text/Video

Pope Francis and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has written to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, regarding the situation in Iraq. Dated August 9, and released today (Wednesday, Aug 13), the letter condemns the violent persecutions underway in the country, and calls on the international community to act swiftly and decisively to stop the humantiarian disaster currently taking place. "The violent attacks that are sweeping across Northern Iraq," writes Pope Francis, "cannot but awaken the consciences of all men and women of goodwill to concrete acts of solidarity by protecting those affected or threatened by violence and assuring the necessary and urgent assistance for the many displaced people as well as their safe return to their cities and their homes." Below, please find the full text of the letter in English.
His Excellency
Mr Ban Ki-moon
Secretary General
United Nations Organization
It is with a heavy and anguished heart that I have been following the dramatic events of these past few days in Northern Iraq where Christians and other religious minorities have been forced to flee from their homes and witness the destruction of their places of worship and religious patrimony. Moved by their plight, I have asked His Eminence Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, who served as the Representative of my predecessors, Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, to the people in Iraq, to manifest my spiritual closeness and to express my concern, and that of the entire Catholic Church, for the intolerable suffering of those who only wish to live in peace, harmony and freedom in the land of their forefathers.
In the same spirit, I write to you, Mr Secretary-General, and place before you the tears, the suffering and the heartfelt cries of despair of Christians and other religious minorities of the beloved land of Iraq. In renewing my urgent appeal to the international community to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway, I encourage all the competent organs of the United Nations, in particular those responsible for security, peace, humanitarian law and assistance to refugees, to continue their efforts in accordance with the Preamble and relevant Articles of the United Nations Charter.
The violent attacks that are sweeping across Northern Iraq cannot but awaken the consciences of all men and women of goodwill to concrete acts of solidarity by protecting those affected or threatened by violence and assuring the necessary and urgent assistance for the many displaced people as well as their safe return to their cities and their homes. The tragic experiences of the Twentieth Century, and the most basic understanding of human dignity, compels the international community, particularly through the norms and mechanisms of international law, to do all that it can to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities.
Confident that my appeal, which I unite with those of the Oriental Patriarchs and other religious leaders, will meet with a positive reply, I take this opportunity to renew to your Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.
From the Vatican, 9 August 2014

Saint August 13 : St. Hippolytus : Patron of Prison Guards and Horses

Feast Day:
August 13
236, Sardinia
Patron of:
horses; prison guards; prison officers; prison workers
Martyr, presbyter and antipope; date of birth unknown; d. about 236. Until the publication in 1851 of the recently discovered "Philosophumena", it was impossible to obtain anydefinite authentic facts concerning Hippolytus of Rome and his life from the conflicting statements about him, as follows:
* Eusebius says that he was bishop of a church somewhere and enumerates several of his writings (Hist. eccl., VI, xx, 22).

* St. Jerome likewise describes him as the bishop of an unknown see, gives a longer list of his writings, and says of one of his homilies that he delivered it in the presence of Origen, to whom he made direct reference (De viris illustribus, cap. 1xi).

* The Chronography of 354, in the list of popes, mentions Bishop Pontianus and the presbyter Hippolytus as being banished to the island of Sardinia in the year 235; the Roman Calendar in the same collection records under 13 August the feast of Hippolytus on the Via Tiburtina and Pontianus in the catacomb of Callistus (ed. Mommsen in "Mon. Germ. Hist.: auctores antiquissimi", IX, 72, 74).

* According to the inscription over the grave of Hippolytus composed by Pope Damasus, he was a follower of the Novatian schism while a presbyter, but before his death exhorted his followers to become reconciled with the Catholic Church (Ihm, "Damasi epigrammata", Leipzig, 1895, 42, n.37).

* Prudentius wrote a hymn on the martyr Hippolytus ("Peristephanon", hymn XI, in P.L., LX, 530 sqq.), in which he places the scene of the martyrdom at Ostia or Porto, and describes Hippolytus as being torn to pieces by wild horses, evidently a reminiscence of the ancient Hippolytus, son of Theseus.

* Later Greek authors (e.g. Georgius Syncellus., ed. Bonn, 1829, 674 sqq.; Nicephorus Callistus, "Hist. eccl.", IV, xxxi) do not give much more information than Eusebius and Jerome; some of them call him Bishop of Rome, others Bishop of Porto. According to Photius (Bibliotheca, codex 121), he was a disciple of St. Irenæus. Oriental writers, as well as Pope Gelasius, place the See of Hippolytus at Bostra, the chief city of the Arabs.

* Several later legends of martyrs speak of Hippolytus in various connections. That of St. Laurence refers to him as the officer appointed to   guard the blessed deacon, who was converted, together with his entire household, and killed by wild horses (Acta SS., August, III, 13-14; Surius, "De probatis Sanctorum historiis", IV, Cologne, 1573, 581 sqq.). A legend of Porto identifies him with the martyr Nonnus and gives an account of his martyrdom with others of the same city (Acta SS., August, IV, 506; P.G., X, 545-48).

* A monument of importance is the large fragment of a marble statue of the saint discovered in 1551 which underwent restoration (the upper part of the body and the head being new), and is now preserved in theLateran museum; the paschal cycle computed by Hippolytus and a list of his writings are engraved on the sides of the chair on which the figure of Hippolytus is seated; the monument dates from the third century (Kraus, "Realencyklopädie der christlichen Altertumer", 661 sqq.).

* The topographies of the graves of the Roman martyrs place the grave of   Hippolytus in the cemetery on the Via Tiburtina named after him, mention the basilica erected there, and give some legendary details concerning him. (De Rossi, "Roma sotterranea", I, 178-79); the burial vault of the sainted confessor was unearthed by De Rossi (Bullettino di archeologia cristiana, 1882, 9-76).
The discovery of the "Philosophumean" has now made it possible to clear up the most important period of the life of St. Hippolytus through his own evidence, and at the same time to test and correct the conflicting accounts contained in the old authorities. We proceed on the assumption that Hippolytus was really the author of the aforesaid work, an hypothesis almost universally accepted by investigators today.
Hippolytus was a presbyter of the Church of Rome at the beginning of the third century. There is no difficulty in admitting that he could have been a disciple of St. Irenæus either in Rome or Lyons. It is equally possible that Origen heard a homily by Hippolytus when he went to Rome about the year 212. In the reigh of Pope Zephyrinus (198-217) he came into conflict with that pontiff and with the majority of the Church of Rome, primarily on account of the christological opinions which for some time had been causing controversies in Rome. Hippolytus had combated the heresy of Theodotion and the Alogi; in like fashion he opposed the false doctrines of Noetus, of Epigonus, of Cleomenes, and of Sabellius, who emphasized the unity of God too one-sidedly (Monarchians) and saw in the concepts of the Father and the Son merely manifestations (modi) of the Divine Nature (Modalism, Sabellianism). Hippolytus, on the contrary, stood uncompromisingly for a real difference between the Son (Logos) and the Father, but so as to represent the Former as a Divine Person almost completely separate from God (Ditheism) and at the same time altogether subordinate to the Father (Subordinationism). As the heresy in the doctrine of the Modalists was not at first clearly apparent, Pope Zephyrinus declined to give a decision. For this Hippolytus gravely censured him, representing him as an incompetent man, unworthy to rule the Church of Rome and as a tool in the hands of the ambitious and intriguing deacon Callistus, whose early life is maliciously depicted (Philosophumena, IX, xi-xii). Consequently when Callistus was elected pope (217-218) on the death of Zephyrinus, Hippolytus immediately left the communion of the Roman Church and had himself elected antipope by his small band of followers. These he calls the Catholic Church and himself successor to the Apostles, terming the great majority of Roman Christians the School of Callistus. He accuses Callistus of having fallen first into the heresy of Theodotus, then into that of Sabellius; also of having through avarice degraded ecclesiastical, and especially the penitential, discipline to a disgraceful laxity. These reproaches were altogether unjustified. Hippolytus himself advocated an excessive rigorism. He continued in opposition as antipope throughout the reigns of the two immediate successors of Callistus, Urban (222 or 223 to 230) and Pontius (230-35), and during this period, probably during the pontificate of Pontianus, he wrote the "Philosophumena". He was banished to the unhealthful island (insula nociva) of Sardinia at the same time as Pontianus; and shortly before this, or soon afterward, he became reconciled with the legitimate bishop and the Church of Rome. For, after both exiles had died on the island of Sardinia, their mortal remains were brought back to Rome on the same day, 13 August (either 236 or one of the following years), and solemnly interred, Pontianus in the papal vault in the catacomb of Callistus and Hippolytus in a spot on the Via Tiburtina. Both were equally revered as martyrs by the Roman Church: certain proof that Hippolytus had made his peace with that Church before his death. With his death the schism must have come to a speedy end, which accounts for its identification with the Novatian schism at the end of the fourth century, as we learn from the inscription by Damasus.
The fact that Hippolytus was a schismatic Bishop of Rome and yet was held in high honour afterwards both as martyr and theologian, explains why as early as the fourth century nothing was known as to his see, for he was not on the list of the Roman bishops. The theory championed by Lightfoot (see below), that he was actually Bishop of Porto but with his official residence in Rome, is untenable.
This statement, made by a few authorities, results from a confusion with a martyr of Porto, due perhaps to a legendary account of his martyrdom. Moreover De Rossi's hypothesis, based on the inscription by Damasus, that Hippolytus returned from exile, and subsequently became an adherent of Novatian, his reconciliation with the Roman Church not being effected until just before his martyrdom under the Emperor Valerian (253-60), is incompatible with the supposition that he is the author of the "Philosophumena." The feast of St. Hippolytus is kept on 13 August, a date assigned in accordance with the legend of St. Laurence; that of Hippolytus of Porto is celebrated on 22 August.
Hippolytus was the most important theologian and the most prolific religious writer of the Roman Church in the pre-Constantinian era. Nevertheless the fate of his copious literary remains has been unfortunate. Most of his works have been lost or are known only through scattered fragments, while much has survived only in old translations into Oriental and Slavic languages; other writings are freely interpolated. The fact that the author wrote in Greek made it inevitable that later, when that language was no longer understood in Rome, the Romans lost interest in his writings, while in the East they were read long after and made the author famous. His works deal with several branches of theology, as appears from the aforementioned list on the statue, from Eusebius, St. Jerome, and from Oriental authors. His exegetical treatises were numerous: he wrote commentaries on several books of the Old and New Testaments. Most of these are extant only in fragments. The commentary on the Canticle of Canticles, however, has probably been preserved in its entirety ("Werke des Hippolytus", ed. Bonwetsch, 1897, 343 sqq.); likewise the fullest extant commentary on the Book of Daniel in 4 books (ibid., 2 sqq.). Eight of his works, known by their titles, dealt with dogmatic and apologetic subjects, but only one has come down entire in the original Greek. This is the work on Christ and Antichrist ("De Antichristo", ed. Achelis, op. cit., I, II, 1 sqq.); fragments of a few others have been preserved. Of his polemics against heretics the most important is the "Philosophumena", the original title of which is kata pason aireseon elegchos (A Refutation of All Heresies). The first book had long been known; books IV to X, which had been discovered a short time previously, were published in 1851. But the first chapters of the fourth and the whole of the second and third books are still missing. The first four books treat of the Hellenic philosophers; books V to IX are taken up with the exposition and refutation of Christian heresies, and the last book contains a recapitulation. The work is one of the most important sources for the history of the heresies which disturbed the early Church. Origen is cited in some manuscripts as the author of the first book. Photius attributes it to the Roman author Caius, while by others it has been ascribed also to Tertullian and Novatian. But most modern scholars hold for weighty reasons that Hippolytus is undoubtedly its author. A shorter treatise agains heresies (Syntagma), and written by Hippolytus at an earlier date, may be restored in outline from later adaptations (Libellus adversus omnes haereses; Epiphanius, "Panarion"; Philastrius, "De haeresibus"). He wrote a third antiheretical work which was universal in character, called the "Small Labyrinth". Besides these Hippolytus wrote special monographs against Marcion, the Montanists, the Alogi, and Caius. Of these writings only a few fragments are extant. Hippolytus also produced an Easter cycle, as well as a chronicle of the world which was made use of by later chroniclers. And finally St. Jerome mentions a work by him on Church laws. Three treatises on canon law have been preserved under the name of Hippolytus: the "Constitutiones per Hippolytum" (which are parallel with the eighth book of the Apostolic Constitutions), the Egyptian Church Ordinance, in Coptic, and the "Canones Hippolyti". Of these works the first two are spurious beyond doubt, and the last, the authenticity of which was upheld even by Achelis (Die Canones Hippolyti, Leipzig, 1891), belongs in all probability to the fifth or sixth century.
The works of Hippolytus have been edited by Fabricius, "S. Hippolyti episcopi et mart. opera" (2 vols., Hamburg, 1716-18); by Gallandi in "Bibliotheca veterum patrum", II, 1766; in Migne, P.G., X; by Lagarde (Leipzig and London, 1858); and by Bonwetsch and Achelis, "Hippolytus" I, pts. I and II (Leipzig, 1897), in "Die gr. chr. Schriftsteller", a series published by the Berlin Academy. The "Philosophumena" was edited by Miller, as the work of Origen (Oxford, 1851); by Duncker and Schneidewin as the work of Hippolytus (Göttingen, 1859), and in P.G., XVI. The "Canones Hippolyti" were edited by Haneberg (Munich, 1870); by Achelis, "Die altesten Quellen des orientalischen Kirchenrechts:, I, in "Texte und Untersuchungen", VI (Leipzig, 1891), 4.

Saint August 13 : St. Pontian : Pope

Dates of birth and death unknown. The "Liber Pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 145) gives Rome as his native city and calls his father Calpurnius. With him begins the brief chronicle of the Roman bishops of the third century, of which the author of the Liberian Catalogue of the popes made use in the fourth century and which gives more exact data for the lives of the popes. According to this account Pontian was made pope 21 July, 230, and reigned until 235. The schism of Hippolytus continued during his episcopate; towards the end of his pontificate there was a reconciliation between the schismatic party and its leader with the Roman bishop. After the condemnation of Origen at Alexandria (231-2), a synod was held at Rome, according to Jerome (Epist. XXXII, iv) and Rufinus (Apol. contra Hieron., II, xx), which concurred in the decisions of the Alexandrian synod against Origen; without doubt this synod was held by Pontian (Hefele, Konziliengeschichte, 2nd ed., I, 106 sq.). In 235 in the reign of Maximinus the Thracian began a persecution directed chiefly against the heads of the Church. One of its first victims was Pontian, who with Hippolytus was banished to the unhealthy island of Sardinia. To make the election of a new pope possible, Pontian resigned 28 Sept., 235, the Liberian Catalogue says "discinctus est". Consequently Anteros was elected in his stead. Shortly before this or soon afterwards Hippolytus, who had been banished with Pontian, became reconciled to the Roman Church, and with this the schism he had caused came to an end. How much longer Pontian endured the sufferings of exile and harsh treatment in the Sardinian mines is unknown. According to old and no longer existing Acts of martyrs, used by the author of the "Liber Pontificalis", he died in consequence of the privations and inhuman treatment he had to bear. Pope Fabian (236-50) had the remains of Pontian and Hippolytus brought to Rome at a later date and Pontian was buried on 13 August in the papal crypt of the Catacomb of Callistus. In 1909 the original epitaph was found in the crypt of St. Cecilia, near the papal crypt. The epitaph, agreeing with the other known epitaphs of the papal crypt, reads: PONTIANOS, EPISK. MARTUR (Pontianus, Bishop, Martyr). The word mártur was added later and is written in ligature [cf. Wilpert, "Die Papstgräber und die Cäciliengruft in der Katakombe des hl. Kalixtus" (Freiburg, 1909), 1 sq., 17 sq., Plate III]. He is placed under 13 Aug. in the list of the "Depositiones martyrum" in the chronographia of 354. TheRoman Martyrology gives his feast on 19 Nov.

Saint August 13 : St. John Berchmans : Patron of Altar Boys


Feast Day:
August 13
13 March 1599 at Driest, Brabant, Belgium
12 August 1621 at Rome, Italy
1888 by Pope Leo XIII
Major Shrine:
Patron of:
altar boys, Oblate novices, young people
This young saint of the Society of Jesus was born in Flanders, the oldest of five children. He grew up in an atmosphere of political turmoil caused by a religious war between the Catholic and Protestant sections of the Netherlands. He studied at the Gymnasium at Diest and worked as a servant in the household of Canon John Froymont at Malines in order to continue his studies.
In 1615, the Jesuits opened a college at Malines, and St. John Berchmans was one of the first to enter. He was an energetic student and was a leader among the students. In 1616, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Malines and came under the influence of Father Antoine Sucquet. The young Berchmans developed a strong and deep spirituality based on the loving practice of fidelity. St. Aloysius of Gonzaga was his spiritual model, and he was influenced as well by the example of the Jesuit English martyrs.
It was his realistic appreciation for the value of ordinary things, a characteristic of the Flemish mystical tradition, that constituted his holiness. He was affable, kind, and endowed with an outgoing personality that endeared him to everyone. In 1618, he was sent to Rome to study philosophy and was an exceptional student. He requested after ordination to become a chaplain in the army, hoping to be martyred on the battlefield.
In the summer of 1619, the intense heat of Rome started to affect his health and he began progressively to get weaker. The doctors could not determine what was wrong, and for two years he was continually sick, requiring medical care, and as the summer of 1621 came, it was clear that he would not last long. He died peacefully on August 13, 1621, and numerous miracles were attributed to him at the time of his funeral.
He was beatified by Pope Pius IX in 1865 and canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1888. His body lies in the church of St. Ignatius in Rome, where Aloysius of Gonzaga is also buried.