Monday thru Friday at

See why so many consider the
Daily CATHOLIC as the
"USA Today for CATHOLICS!"


TUESDAY      December 14, 1999     SECTION THREE      vol 10, no. 237

To print out entire text of today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

Appreciation of the Bible and the Old Testament

    Today we continue with our new series in the search to uncover the wonderful treasures of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith. We begin today a series on the Bible and Sacred Scripture with an overview of the Old Testament today and tomorrow an overview of the New Testament before briefly explaining the origins and meaning of each book of the Bible in subsequent installments. For the seventieth installment, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH


part one The Old Testament overview

Events Today in Church History

    On this date 1,132 years ago in 867 Pope Hadrian II was elected the 106th successor of Peter. He would be the last married Pope since he was a married deacon at the time and because he was married and elevated to the Papal throne, he was allowed to stay married just as Saint Peter was married. His five year pontificate was truly universal as he reached out to the west in crowning kings and to the east where he consecrated Saint Methodius Archbishop in Yugoslavia, giving him and Saint Cyril - the Apostles of the Slavs - apostolic permission to supplant the Cyrillic Old Slavonic language into the liturgy in place of the the Latin liturgy. For other pertinent events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

Historical Events in Church Annals for December 14:

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant



    VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II has sent a message of condolence to the people of Croatia, upon the death of that country's President Franjo Tudjman.

    In a telegram addressed to Vlatko Pavletic, the president of the Croatian parliament, the Pontiff said that Tudjman-- who died in the night on December 10, after a long debilitating illness-- would be remember for his role in giving Croatia an independent voice in world affairs after the fall of the Soviet empire.


Pope Blesses Figurines of Baby Jesus Carried by Thousands of Children

    VATICAN CITY, DEC 12 (ZENIT) - According to Roman tradition, on the third Sunday of Advent, the Pope blesses the figures of the Christ Child, carried to St. Peter's Square by the youngest child of each family. Thus, today, the square was filled with thousands of children awaiting the blessing for the central figure of their family's nativity scene.

    This made for a very special atmosphere. The giant nativity scene in the middle of the square is slowly coming together, and the Christmas tree is already in place, donated this year by Catholics of the Czech Republic. It will be given officially to the Holy Father by President Vaclav Havel. This is a time of joy and family closeness very much appreciated by the Bishop of Rome.

    John Paul II spoke about this tradition in St. Peter's Square today, saying, "One of the popular expressions of the joyful expectation of Christmas is the preparation of the nativity scene in families. In Christian homes during these days a corner is dedicated to place the statuettes, leaving space between Mary and Joseph for the Child. In thinking about all the Christian families who are preparing their nativity scenes, I gladly bless you boys and girls of Rome who, coordinated by the Roman Oratory Center, have come in great numbers bringing the figure of the Child Jesus."

    "May Christmas, already near, and the beginning of the Jubilee, inspire you and believers from all parts of the world to prepare a worthy dwelling place to welcome Christ," the Pontiff said.

    The Pope mentioned that this year's is a very special Christmas, because the Jubilee turns it into "an extension of the feast of the mystery of the Incarnation throughout the year, two thousand years since the coming of the Son of God in the humility of our human nature."

    Because of this, the Church proclaims the year of the Lord's mercy, "inviting everyone to drink in abundance from the very source of grace, Jesus Christ, Man-God, Redeemer of man and center of history," continued the Holy Father. ZE99121205


Pilgrims Will Welcome the Jubilee Year in Shepherds' Field

    BETHLEHEM, DEC 12 (ZENIT) - Pilgrims from 80 countries are expected to gather in Shepherds' Field near Bethlehem for a prayer vigil on Christmas Eve. Organizers are calling the event, whose high point will be the Midnight Mass of Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah, broadcast on giant screens, the "Night of Peace."

    Pilgrims in the field where the angels announced the birth of the Christ Child to the shepherds will also be able to watch Pope John Paul II open the Holy Door of the Vatican Basilica on these screens. The event will end with fireworks to celebrate the beginning of the Holy Year and a festive Middle-Eastern meal.

    Organizers expect 5,000 to 10,000 people to attend the free event, though Shepherds' Field can hold 3 to 4 times this number, if needed. All texts will be translated into Arabic and English, with the more important messages translated into Hebrew, Spanish, Italian, and French as well. The event is being organized by the Confraternity of Notre Dame of France, which can be contacted for more information, posters, or brochures at .

    "We are pleased with your initiative and we encourage you to continue, knowing that it will enhance our own Jubilee celebrations," stated Fr. Robert Fortin, General Secretary for the Jubilee of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of the Holy Land, in a letter to the organizers. "Among other things, by organizing an extraordinary ceremony at the Shepherd's Field, at Beit Sahour, you are making it possible for many faithful who will not be able to attend the Mass at the Basilica of the Nativity to take an active part in a prayerful and memorable way, in the Opening of the Great Jubilee." ZE99121222


Parents Report that Samuel Armas is Doing Well

    NASHVILLE, DEC 12 (ZENIT) - The fetus whose picture was seen all over the Internet is now a healthy baby boy. Samuel Armas touched the hearts of America when he reached out of his mother's womb to grip the finger of a surgeon while still a fetus of 21 weeks.

    In early November, Samuel underwent pre-natal surgery to correct a case of spina bifida, a condition that affects about 0.2% of infants. The surgery was innovative and dangerous: the doctors removed the uterus from his mother, drained the amniotic sac, operated on the child, and finally returned the child and the uterus to the body of the mother.

    The case caught national attention due to a photo taken near the end of the surgery. As the surgeon replaced the uterus, a tiny hand reached out to clutch his finger. Of course, if the mother had had a different mindset, a child at that age could have been legally aborted throughout the United States. Fox talk show host Matt Drudge was fired when he insisted on showing the photo on national television to make this same point.

    The child's parents have written this progress report: "Samuel arrived on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 6:25 pm at Northside Hospital weighing 5 lbs 11 oz and 20 1/2 " long. He was born at 36 weeks but came into the world screaming his head off! He did not have to spend any time in a neonatal unit and came home with us on Monday, Dec. 6. After viewing an ultrasound of his brain, Samuel's neurosurgeon was very optimistic as he does not have any hydrocephalus and the brain malformation has resolved. He is moving his legs very well from the hips and some from the knees. He was frank breech (folded in half) in the womb and the orthopedist feels that he has a good chance for walking. He will begin physical therapy next week in order to work out some of the stiffness in his legs that was a result of his being folded in half in the womb. He is also nursing very well."

    The parents also thank everyone for their prayers and support. A new photo of Samuel, though somewhat less dramatic than the one that caught the nation's attention in mid-November. For that story, go to Dr. Frank Joseph's webpage ZE99121224

Retroactive articles on Church history available from 33 to 1515 A.D. for review

   To allow all readers to catch up on our popular on-going series, we present a review of the period from the time of Christ when He founded the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church to the time of the Reformation and Pope Leo X, the 217th in the Petrus line early in the sixteenth century. These are installments 1 through 106. Until we are back to full strength we will continue the archives, giving readers the opportunity to catch up To read any of the 105 installments presently available in this long on-going series, click on the Archives of THE HISTORY OF THE MASS AND HOLY MOTHER CHURCH.

November 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE

Click here to return to SECTION ONE or SECTION TWO or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.

December 14, 1999 volume 10, no. 237  DAILY CATHOLIC