Death of Pope Damasus II, 151st successor of Peter. This Bavarian born pontiff took the place of his predecessor Pope Benedict IX at the request of the Emperor Henry III of Germany after Bishop Aliard of Lyons declined the papacy. Damasus ruled less than one month, retiring to Palestrina where he died.
The election of Pope Urban VI, 202nd successor of Peter and elected on April 18, 1378, is declared nul and void by the majority of French cardinals who advise Urban to abdicate. When the Pope refuses they set about to elect three months later on October 31 the antipope Clement VII thus putting into motion the Great Schism of the west.
Pope Sixtus IV celebrates the first Mass in the new Sistine Chapel which he built. It would later be decorated by the great master Michelangelo and has served as the cloistered conclave for the College of Cardinals during the election of the Pope.
O, My children, have you forgotten the Way that I taught you? Can you truly love Me while your heart is stiffened by pride disguised as righteousness and judgment? Can you say you walk My way in love when you isolate yourself from your neighbor and do not pray for My Mercy for all?
O! How saddened is My Sacred Heart. If you sought Peace and Unity through sincere, heartfelt prayer, it would be given you. But you do not yet understand nor truly live My Gospel message which is Truth. Therefore, I solemnly say: Unless you heed all that I have said, living just, holy upright lives you shall know only increasing division in your world, and this division is the plot of the evil one.
Division breeds anger, contempt, and all manner of evil for it lacks divine charity. To love Me is to follow Me; to speak as I spoke; to forgive as I forgive, to love as I love. But you cannot do this if you do not possess Me, and where a heart is filled with pride I am not!
Therefore, be on guard lest you find yourself in an uncharitable way of thinking, speaking, acting. You are My Apostles of the End Times. Preach the Truth as I have commanded you, but do so with love flowing from your heart.
Do not condone evil, but name it for what it is while Divine Mercy reaches out to the sinner so that he, too, may repent.
I solemnly tell you that each day I give to you yet more signs, but you are blind. I call out to you to convert your heart, but you do not wish to hear Me.
But I am God, Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity and I shall be victorious. The signs and wonders you seek but yet deny shall end with the fullness of the Father's Justice which shall purify My flock.
Therefore, daily live as if I were approaching your door in the next moment, and you shall never be found wanting.
I Who Am Come. I come as a Thief, and only the wise and prudent, the humble little children shall know that I am near, and they shall answer Me and wait for Me in love, in hope and trust and in faith.
Do you doubt that I Come? O! Read Sacred Scripture and discern through the grace of the Holy Spirit, for I am closer than you think and I Come when you least expect.
Pray much. Love much. Speak very little. Be Mine and I will not abandon you in these end times.
Behold, let every heart be lifted up in prayerful meditation of the sublime mystery of the First Pentecost, and of the unceasing work of the Holy Spirit. Pray much and seek to be fully renewed this Pentecost, by surrendering your hearts to Me, Who Am!
Again, I solemnly say unto you, there is yet Mercy, My little ones, for I Am Infinite Mercy. If you seek to be holy then be merciful. If you are merciful you will be humble and obedient children of My One True Church. Let this time be spent in giving to Me your hearts that are weary, hearts worn down by the daily pounding of the evil one's lies and temptations. If you do not possess Me, can you possess the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier?
O, I solemnly say unto you: You must prepare, for I Come as a Thief to reclaim My Kingdom. The hour is known only to the Father, yet many are the signs given.
Look at the signs and keep the light of faith alive through My One True Church, and love as I Love, forgive as I Forgive, and on Pentecost the Truth shall be more clearly illumined in your heart by the Holy Spirit so that you may persevere.
I love and bless you all. Prepare, for I Come!
O! Children of My Heart, how I desire through Divine Mercy to shower upon you countless graces that shall be for you a shield in this, the time of spiritual darkness.
Behold, O world! I Am Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior of the world, and I solemnly say unto all: The tribulations shall come upon you - from the forces of nature and the evil of men's hearts.
Your portion of sorrow shall increase, for all that keeps you away from Me, I shall strip from you.
Behold, all My children, the age of fulfillment has come to you, but you see it not because your heart is of stone.
Unless you become as a humble, little child who comes lovingly to Me, I solemnly tell you that all the world shall be plunged into a global conflict, from which the antichrist shall emerge, to mount his throne of dominion over the world.
O! If you but knew the plots of the evil one, and how innumerable are his demons who assist him, how eagerly would you open your heart to Me.
O! If you do not repent, if you do not return to virtue and holiness, you shall know the fulfillment of these words in a short time, and the wars shall bring you to the edge of the abyss.
Yet I solemnly tell all: Come to Me, for I Am your God. I love you. Seek to be in the Refuge of My Sacred Heart and fear nothing, for never do I abandon My flock. Heed My words.
Pray, fast, wait and watch, for I solemnly tell you: I Come!
August 6 was the Feast of the Transfiguration, when Jesus Christ appeared in glory on Mount Tabor, conversing with Moses and Elijah, in the presence of the apostles Peter, James and John. The Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ has been celebrated from earliest times, starting in the East and spreading westward. In 1457, Pope Calixtus III extended it to the whole of Christendom, to commemorate the victory of Christians in Belgrade over Mohammed II, conqueror of Constantinople and enemy of Christianity. The news of the victory arrived in Rome on August 6.
On this day in 1978, Pope Paul VI prepared an address he was unable to deliver. Part of the text of the Pontiff, who closed Vatican Council II and directed its implementation, read as follows: "Today's solemnity sheds a brilliant light on our daily life and carries our mind to the immortal destiny that overshadows this fact."
"Yes," John Paul II said, remembering Pope Montini, "we are made for eternity, and eternity begins now, because the Lord is among us, and he lives with and in his Church."
"But, like the disciples, we also must come down from Tabor to daily life, where the ups and downs of life challenge our faith. We have contemplated on the mount, but on the streets of life, we are asked to tirelessly proclaim the Gospel that enlightens believers' steps," the Holy Father concluded. ZE99080504
Such a change in procedure holds serious consequences for priests. By Canon Law, a priest who directly reveals secrets revealed in Confession is subject to automatic excommunication, whose forgiveness is reserved to the Apostolic See (Can. 1388 §1). Under the Canadian proposal, a priest who refused to speak would be subject to punishment by the court.
"The sacramental seal is inviolable. Accordingly, it is absolutely wrong for a confessor in any way to betray the penitent, for any reason whatsoever, whether by word or in any other fashion," reads Canon 983 §1. Over the course of the history of the Church, saints such as John Neppomuck have given their lives to protect this seal.
The Rules of Procedure and Evidence being debated this week were drafted by a working group that met in Paris last April. The working group consisted mostly of NGOs rather than governmental officials. The Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute reports that Kathryn Balmforth, a Utah-based civil rights attorney who follows the ICC for Brigham Young University Law School, said, "The group that met in Paris was a group of ideological NGOs promoting their own interests in controlling and manipulating proceedings within the court. The fix is in. This will not be a fair court but a left-leaning ideological one."
Pro-family attorneys and law professors are concerned about a whole host of issues related to the current ICC meetings. Chief among their concerns is the proposal of the Paris group to include victims as full and separate participants in the ICC proceedings. Western legal tradition allows victims to sue in civil actions that are separate from the criminal procedures. The current proposal would allow NGOs to stand in for the victims as well, and this is what worries pro-family attorneys the most. "This proposal would force the defendant to answer charges from many quarters all at once," said Balmforth. "This would turn the proceedings into a kangaroo court."
The question of "forced pregnancy" has also resurfaced at this meeting which ends next week. Against the wishes of radical feminists in Rome last year, UN delegates insisted that "forced pregnancy" could in no way refer to a woman's inability to get an abortion. The new proposal refers to the illegality of "keeping a woman pregnant" against her wishes. Some believe this is a back-door to an international right to abortion.
To date, only Senegal, Trinidad and Tobago, Italy, and Sao Tome and Principe have formally ratified the ICC. The Holy See was influential in the initial debates to pass the statute. ZE99080620
"If Indiana Jones had visited Valencia, he would have paid no attention to old medieval legends, and he would have saved himself all the dangers of 'The Last Crusade,' " Antuņano humorously affirms in the book's opening line. Over the length of 220 pages, the author reviews the tradition that envelops the Sacred Chalice, including archaeological research on its use in the Last Supper, its use by the first Popes of Christianity, it relocation to Spain, medieval legends, its stay in the Monastery of St. John of la Peņa, and its first entry into documented history at the end of the 14th century.
The author finally brings together the negative publicity and damages it has been subjected to since then, as well as its use by John Paul II during a Mass celebrated in Valencia in November, 1992.
According to tradition, the Grail was the chalice from which Jesus and his disciples drank during the Last Supper. It is a proper cup, to which a gold structure with two handles has been added. The piece is 17 centimeters high. The cup is semispherical, about 3.5 inches in diameter and made of dark red agate. Archaeological studies reveal the work was done in a Palestinian or Egyptian workshop between the 4th century B.C. and the 1st century A.D.
History records that during the persecution of Emperor Valerian, shortly before his death at the hands of the Romans, Pope Sixtus II gave relics, treasures and money to his deacon Lawrence, a native of Huesca, Spain, who was also martyred, but not before sending the Eucharistic Chalice to his native city, accompanied by a letter. This was in the year 258 or, according to some authors, 261.
The cup remained in Huesca until the Moslem invasion. Bishop Audeberto of Huesca left his city with the Sacred Chalice in 713, and took refuge in the Mount Pano caves, where the hermit John of Atares lived. Later, the monastery of St. John of la Peņa was founded and developed here. It was from here that a nucleus of determined men left to undertake the re-conquest of Spain from the Moslems. This struggle had epic proportions, which were not ignored by literary creativity. According to historians of literature, this was the origin or source of the famous poems of Chretien de Troyes and Wolfram von Eschenbach, about the hero Percival (Parzival). Eschenbach's epic later inspired Wagner's opera, "Parsifal." In all these poems there is a marvelous Cup, which is called "Graal" or "Grail" and whose link with the Sacred Chalice is easy to understand.
The presence of the Sacred Chalice in St. John of la Peņa is attested by a document dated December 14, 1134. On September 26, 1399, the Chalice went to Zaragoza for safekeeping, at the request of the King of Aragon, Martin the Human. In the text of offer, which is kept in Barcelona, there is evidence that the Sacred Chalice was sent from Rome with a letter of St. Lawrence. During the reign of Alfonso the Magnanimous, the relic was moved to Valencia. Since March 18, 1437, it has been kept in the Cathedral of that city, according to a document which refers to it as "the Chalice in which Jesus Christ consecrated the blood on the Thursday of the Supper."
The author states that when "the mystery of the Grail is revealed, one realizes it is in no way an esoteric enigma; what it encloses is the most dramatic, romantic and sublime story humanity has ever known: the story of the Word made Man and Eucharist."
The book, edited by EDICEP and published in Spanish, has a prologue by Archbishop Agustin Garcia Gasco of Valencia, who highly recommends the reading of the book because "it highlights the value and meaning of the Holy Grail, which acquires its relevance in the Eucharist." ZE99080506
The researchers from Catania University said they had found fragments at a dig in the town of Paphos bearing the inscription "Apostolou Paulou." The fragments were found close to a temple dating from the ancient Hellenistic period and dedicated to the Greek god Apollo, team director Professor Filippo Guidice told reporters. "This marble was made to commemorate the presence of the saint there," Giudice said. "There is another marble like this in the catacombs of the Vatican."
Acts 13:4-6 relates how Paul and Barnabas visited Cyprus and journeyed as far as Paphos. Giudice said the fact that the fragments bearing Paul's name were found near the temple of Apollo reaffirmed previous evidence that pagan temples were gradually taken over for Christian worship.
Meanwhile, the "Miss Universe" contest, which is scheduled to take place in Cyprus in May of the year 2000, has unleashed a serious debate. The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church expressed "surprise and sadness when it heard that during the celebrations to commemorate 2000 years since the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, an international spectacle will take place that scandalizes the Church's flock." Archbishop Chrysostom of Cyprus has called on the government to reverse its decision, but the Minister of Commerce replied that the event only helps to promote tourism. ZE99080607