Catholic Tradition News Letter B3: Holy Eucharist, Holy Family, St Maurius

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Vol 13 Issue 3 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
January 18, 2020 ~ Chair of Saint Peter in Rome

1.      What is the Holy Eucharist
2.      Feast of the Holy Family
3.      Saints Marius, Martha and Sons
.4.      Family and Marriage
5.      Articles and notices
Dear Reader:

It is difficult to hear about the constant so-called rise in anti-Semitism being broadcast without, in the least, asking why not the mention of an exponential rise in anti-Catholicism. Of course it would only be natural that those who run the media and those wanting to keep their jobs in the media would kowtow to what is the ideology desired to be propagated within their leadership. The result of the demagoguery is that it is also difficult, in this media mindset, to find out what is really happening in local, national and world events when media is so slanted toward one objective.

As such one should know that anti-Catholicism—not the Catholicism of Bergoglio (Social Gospel) or Pelosi and Biden (in which to them hate is one saving the unborn and love is one killing the unborn), but the Catholicism where 1+1 =2, where truth is truth, where the true Church is the true Church and all others are inspired by the devil because God cannot err, where marriage is between one man and one woman until death parts them, and where the Church is the salvific way Christ instituted and His Church, manifested in both the faithful and the building  for a sign which shall be contradicted  (cf. Luke 2:34)—is on the rise and the Church, in its unshakeable position on morality and doctrine, is being attacked on all sides. The world is silent because if [Catholics] had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because [true Catholics] are not of the world, . . . therefore the world hateth [Catholics](cf. John 15:19) The rise of vandalism against Catholic churches has gotten to be  a daily occurrence, but rarely mentioned by local news and never by national news. Here in Las Vegas it is expected just at this parish two-three times each year (besides constant harassment). Vandalism of a synagogue or a mosque would be national headlines (harassment would be an hate crime); for a Catholic Church one takes it that it is “just a church”. So it is passed unrecognized unless a unique monument is burned to the ground, such as Notre Dame. For, in France, every day at least two churches are vandalized [https://churchleaders.com/news/348835-every-day-two-churches-in-france-are-vandalized.html]. In the United States it is almost the same [https://www.bizpacreview.com/2019/04/28/media-ignoring-mass-vandalism-hate-attacks-on-catholic-churches-in-the-us-749058] In Chile, the rioters targeted Churches [https://apnews.com/9bdf447abb634194a0229656309c70be]; and throughout Europe the perpetrators of  over 3000 vandalism acts in 2019, though persons were supposedly unidentified, yet the Observatory has documented that churches and other symbols of Christianity in Europe are targets for many groups — from Islamists to radical feminists, LGBT activists to anarchists and self-proclaimed Satanists  [https://neonnettle.com/news/9946-record-3-000-christian-sites-vandalized-in-europe-2019] Beyond the vandalism, which includes the burning of churches, there is the persecution and martyrdom of Catholics [https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/15369/christmas-christians-beheaded] that seems to be accepted as a thanks they were killed and the more the better attitude of the media and governments at large. I write this not to set the faithful in fear, but that when they listen to the media about supposed protected groups (Jews, Mohammedans, LGBTQ, and selected ethnic minorities) being targeted by deranged psychopaths, it is nothing in comparison to Catholics who are being targeted by supposed legitimate government agencies and empowered mercenaries, organizations  and citizens.

No one should be targeted for persecution; but, that also means no one should be targeted as opposed to certain people may and others may not—the true discrimination of the radicals witnessed daily by the leftist media in defense of the Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Feminists, LGBTQ, Abortionists and Mohammedans as also the leftist media support for anti-Christian organizations such as the DNC, the ADL and the SPLC and then their attacks on Catholics and their faith.

I want to thank the readers who helped provide links to these tragedies and thereby make others aware.

As always, enjoy the readings provided for your benefit.—The Editor

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WHAT IS THE HOLY EUCHARIST

By Rev. Courtney Edward Krier

PART II

Institution

Old Testament Prefigurements of the Holy Eucharist

Old Testament Sacrifices

The Lamb

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

(Ordinary of the Mass)

All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: he shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth.

(Isaias 53:6-7)

Christ was prefigured as a Shepherd and a sacrificial Lamb. Previously it was shown that the sacrifice of Abel, a shepherd, was the first born and best lamb.

And Abel was a shepherd, and Cain a husbandman. And it came to pass after many days, that Cain offered, of the fruits of the earth, gifts to the Lord. Abel also offered of the firstlings of his flock, and of their fat: and the Lord had respect to Abel, and to his offerings. But to Cain and his offerings he had no respect: and Cain was exceedingly angry, and his countenance fell. (Gen. 4:2-5)

This figure continues through the Old Testament in relationship to men who are prefigurements of Christ. Isaac, when his father was taking him to be sacrificed in the Land of Vision (Moria), said: My father. And he answered: What wilt thou, son? Behold, saith he, fire and wood: where is the victim [lamb] for the holocaust? (Gen. 22:7) The Hebrew word, haś·śeh (הַשֶּׂ֖ה), literally means lamb. The Septuagint also has little sheep: πρόβατον. Abraham answers: God will provide himself a victim [lamb] for an holocaust, my son. (v. 8) In Hebrew, הַשֶּׂ֖ה is used again and πρόβατον in the Septuagint: lamb, little sheep. But Abraham—stopped by the Angel—lifted up his eyes, and saw behind his back a ram [male sheep/lamb] amongst the briers sticking fast by the horns, which he took and offered for a holocaust (Gen. 22:13). As the text points that it was in the Land of Vision, and as Abraham lifts up his eyes, and saw behind his back a ram, one finds John the Baptist seeing Jesus saying, Behold the Lamb of God (John 1:29) and, in the Apocalypse:

I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet . . . . And I saw: and behold in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the ancients, a Lamb standing as it were slain . . . . The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and benediction. (Apoc. 1:10, 5:6, 12)

And to which Peter gives testimony: But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled. (1 Peter 1:19)

Therefore, it was a ram (male lamb/sheep) that was sacrificed: Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw behind his back a ram amongst the briers sticking fast by the horns, which he took and offered for a holocaust instead of his son. (Gen. 22:13). In view of the sacrifice of the Only-begotten Son, the Angel said to Abraham:

By my own self have I sworn, saith the Lord: because thou hast done this thing, and hast not spared thy only begotten son for my sake: I will bless thee, and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is by the sea shore: thy seed shall possess the gates of their enemies. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed my voice. (Gen. 16-18)

The sacrifice of Isaac is further a type because Isaac was willingly bound and laid upon the wood just as Jesus Christ. Though the sword did not pierce Isaac, it did Christ. Therefore, as the promise was given to Abraham in the act of sacrificing his only son; the fulfilment was accomplished in the Father sacrificing His only Son. And as Isaac was willing to be sacrificed by his father, so Christ accepted being sacrificed as His Father willed.

Saint Paul explains: To Abraham were the promises made and to his seed. He saith not, And to his seeds, as of many: but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. (Gal. 3:16) This is important, for otherwise salvation would be in the Hebrews as a nation, whose works God would need to accept, but which Scripture repeatedly demonstrates He rejected. Jeremias expresses it in these words: To what purpose do you bring me frankincense from Saba, and the sweet smelling cane from a far country? your holocausts are not acceptable, nor are your sacrifices pleasing to me. (Jer. 6:20) Amos addresses the Israelites:

I hate, and have rejected your festivities: and I will not receive the odour of your assemblies. And if you offer me holocausts, and your gifts, I will not receive them: neither will I regard the vows of your fat beasts. Take away from me the tumult of thy songs: and I will not hear the canticles of thy harp. But judgment shall be revealed as water, and justice as a mighty torrent. (Amos 5:21-23)

Malachias chastises the Israelites:

To you, O priests, that despise my name, and have said: Wherein have we despised thy name? You offer polluted bread upon my altar, and you say: Wherein have we polluted thee? In that you say: The table of the Lord is contemptible. If you offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if you offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? offer it to thy prince, if he will be pleased with it, or if he will regard thy face, saith the Lord of hosts. And now beseech ye the face of God, that he may have mercy on you, (for by your hand hath this been done,) if by any means he will receive your faces, saith the Lord of hosts. Who is there among you, that will shut the doors, and will kindle the fire on my altar gratis? I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts: and I will not receive a gift of your hand. (Mal. 1:7-10)

He then completely references a non-Levitical sacrifice as the only pleasing sacrifice: For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts. (Mal. 1:11) Therefore, in the anticipated acceptance of the sacrifice of the only begotten Son substituted by the prefigurement of the ram caught on the branches of a small tree, the Church sees the offering of the only begotten Son of God, the Lamb of God, typified in the sacrifice of Abraham, who offered his son and the ram (male lamb). The Church continues to offer, as Abraham, the only begotten Son and the Lamb of God.

The lamb is again markedly indicated as a type in the Passover. In Exodus, chapter 12, one reads the account of the Passover lamb:

And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall be to you the beginning of months: it shall be the first in the months of the year. Speak ye to the whole assembly of the children of Israel, and say to them: On the tenth day of this month [Monday] let every man take a lamb by their families and houses. But if the number be less than may suffice to eat the lamb, he shall take unto him his neighbour that joineth to his house, according to the number of souls which may be enough to eat the lamb. And it shall be a lamb without blemish, a male, of one year: according to which rite also you shall take a kid.  And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month [Friday]: and the whole multitude of the children of Israel shall sacrifice it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood thereof, and put it upon both the side posts, and on the upper door posts of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh that night roasted at the fire, and unleavened bread with wild lettuce. You shall not eat thereof any thing raw, nor boiled in water, but only roasted at the fire: you shall eat the head with the feet and entrails thereof. Neither shall there remain any thing of it until morning. If there be any thing left, you shall burn it with fire.

And thus you shall eat it: you shall gird your reins, and you shall have shoes on your feet, holding staves in your hands, and you shall eat in haste: for it is the Phase (that is the Passage) of the Lord. And I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and will kill every firstborn in the land of Egypt both man and beast: and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. And the blood shall be unto you for a sign in the houses where you shall be: and I shall see the blood, and shall pass over you: and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I shall strike the land of Egypt. And this day shall be for a memorial to you: and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord in your generations with an everlasting observance. Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread: in the first day there shall be no leaven in your houses: whosoever shall eat any thing leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall perish out of Israel. (Exod. 12:1-20)

The Evangelists are very specific to point out the correlation between the Passover and the Crucifixion. The Jews, converts or opponents, when hearing or reading the Gospels, never disputed the correlation and universal understanding of the two sacrifices nor the Gospel accounts. Almost two thousand years later, pseudo-scholars now attempt to reject that the Last Supper (despite the numerous books and papers supporting the words and actions of Christ) was when He ate the Passover Meal with His Apostles. Here are a few Scriptural references:

Matthew, chapter 26:1-20

And it came to pass [Tuesday], when Jesus had ended all these words, he said to his disciples [Galileans]: You know that after two days shall be the pasch [Celebrated by the Galileans a day early—therefore Thursday night—otherwise Christ was erroneous in two ways: the day of the Passover and that He would celebrate the Passover with His disciples], and the son of man shall be delivered up to be crucified: Then were gathered together the chief priests and ancients of the people into the court of the high priest, who was called Caiphas: And they consulted together, that by subtilty they might apprehend Jesus, and put him to death. But they said: Not on the festival day, lest perhaps there should be a tumult among the people.

And when Jesus was in Bethania, in the house of Simon the leper, [The Galileans had a dinner on Tuesday to honor the deliverance of the first born and then held the fast of the first born on Wednesday, not working—therefore nothing is mentioned other than Judas going to the priests to betray the Christ on Wednesday] There came to him a woman having an alabaster box of precious ointment, and poured it on his head as he was at table. And the disciples seeing it, had indignation, saying: To what purpose is this waste? For this might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. And Jesus knowing it, said to them: Why do you trouble this woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. And from thenceforth he [Judas] sought opportunity to betray him. And on the first day of the Azymes, [When those celebrating the Passover could no longer eat leaven bread which was Thursday for the Galileans—Friday for the Jews, as will be seen presently] the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the pasch? But Jesus said: Go ye into the city to a certain man, and say to him: the master saith, My time is near at hand, with thee I make the pasch with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus appointed to them, and they prepared the pasch. But when it was evening, he sat down with his twelve disciples [to eat the Pasch].

(To be continued)

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The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers

M. F. Toal

THE GOSPEL OF THE SUNDAY

JOHN ii. 1-11

At that time: there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. His mother said to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye. Now there were set there six water pots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece. Jesus saith to them: Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And Jesus saith to them: Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast. And they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water; the chief steward calleth the bridegroom, and saith to him: every man at first setteth forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse. But thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee; and manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him.

EXPOSITION FROM THE CATENA AUREA

His mother saith to the waiters . . . CHRYSOSTOM, Hom. 21: Although He had said My hour is not yet come, afterwards He did as she had asked, so that from this also He might show that He was not subject to the hour. For if He were, how could He do this when the hour had not yet come? Then also for the honour of His Mother, that He might not appear to deny her request and put her to shame in the presence of so many. For she had brought the waiters to Him, so that the request might be made by many. For there follows: Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye.

BEDE: As though she said: although He seems to refuse, yet He will do this. For His Mother knew that He was kind and merciful.

Now there were six water pots of stone. ALCUIN: The vases for water were got ready according to the custom of purification of the Jews; for among other traditions they also observed this, that they frequently performed ablutions. CHRYSOSTOM, Hom. 22: Palestine is not plentiful in water, and there are not many wells or springs to be found in these places, and so that they will not have to run to the stream if they become soiled, and have not at hand the means of purification, they fill up jars with water. But lest someone, unbelieving, might think that the lees of wine remaining in the jars, and then water being poured in, a light wine would thus be made, the Evangelist for this reason records: Water pots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, showing that these vessels had never been the receptacles of wine.

Containing two or three measures apiece. AUGUSTINE, in Joan., Tr. 9, 7: That he says two or three does not mean that some held two measures, some three; but that the same would hold two, which held three. Jesus saith to them: Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast. But why was the miracle not wrought before the filling of the jars with water? This would have been more wonderful. For indeed it is one thing to give an actual substance another quality, and another to make a new substance out of nothing. This is indeed the more wonderful, but to many it will not seem so credible. It is for this reason that many times He seems to diminish the impressiveness of His miracles, wishing to make more credible that which He does.

In this way He has also overthrown certain perverted teachings. For since there are those (the Manichaeans) who say that the Maker of the world is another being (and that visible things are not His work, but those of a rival creator), He accordingly performs His miracles from the materials at hand. For if He were indeed contrary to the Being Who is the Creator of the world, He would not thus use the creations of His enemy to make known His own power. He did not Himself draw the water, and then reveal the wine: but ordered the servants to do this, so that they might be witnesses of what He had done. Then follows: And Jesus saith to them: draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast.

ALCUIN: The chief steward was the chief among the guests, who in the manner of the ancients reclined on couches. Some think that the chief steward was one of the Jewish priests who was present at the feast, so as to instruct them as to how the nuptials were to be conducted. CHRYSOS., Hom. 21: Or, lest some one might say that the guests were drunk and their judgement unreliable so that they would not know whether it was wine or water. But those to whom the entertainment of the guests was confided were extremely vigilant, this being their especial duty: that they conduct everything in an orderly and worthy manner. Accordingly, in view of their testimony who fulfilled this office He said: Carry to the chief steward; because of his necessary watchfulness; He did not say: pour out now to the guests.

HILARY, De Trin. 3:5, prope prin.: Water accordingly is poured into the jars; wine is drawn out in the drinking vessels; the mind of the one drawing forth is different from the mind of the one pouring in. They who poured in thought to draw forth water: those drawing forth, believed that wine had been poured in. Hence: and when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water; the chief steward calleth the bridegroom. This was not a mixing, but a new creation. The simplicity of water disappeared, and the taste of wine was born. Not by the pouring in of what is the stronger element, is there obtained what was diluted; but what was ceased to be, and what was not began to be.

CHRYSOSTOM, Hom. 22: Jesus wished the power of His miracles to be known gradually, and so He did not reveal what had been done; nor did the chief steward call the servants. For they would not have been believed, saying such a thing about One who was regarded as an ordinary man; but he called the bridegroom, who especially could inquire into what had happened. For Christ had not simply made wine, He had made the best wine. Hence: and saith to him: every man at first set forth good wine etc.

Such are the wonders of Christ; which are more beautiful and more advantageous than those done by nature. That water was changed into wine the waiters bear witness; that it was the best wine the chief steward and the bridegroom testify. It is likely that the bridegroom also made some comment, but the Evangelist passes over this, touching only on that which it was necessary to know, namely: that He changed water into wine. Then immediately he continues: This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee.

CHRYSOSTOM, Hom. 22: It was necessary then to work miracles, since disciples were already gathered about Him, and there were devout persons present and such as gave attention to the things which were done. And (Hom. 21) if anyone say it is not sufficient proof that this was the beginning of miracles, because there is added: in Cana of Galilee, as if it had happened that there had been signs already elsewhere, we shall say, as we said before, what John says: I knew Him not, but that He may be made manifest in Israel, therefore am I come baptizing in water (Jn. i. 31). Now if he had wrought miracles at an early age, the Israelites would not have needed another to go before Him to announce Him. For He who in a brief time became renowned by His miracles, so that His name was made known to all men, would much the more have become known, had He wrought wonders while yet a child. But what He would have done then would have seemed fantastic, being done by a child. Fittingly, therefore, He did not begin as a Child to perform wonders. For then men might have regarded the Incarnation as but a semblance of humanity and His enemies, carried away by malice, would have hastened Him before due time to the cross.

AUGUSTINE, Tr. 9, 1, in John: This miracle of the Lord, in which He made wine from water, does not astonish those who know that God wrought it. For on that day He made wine in the water jars, Who each succeeding year makes it in the vines. But this latter through familiarity loses its wonder. So God made use of unaccustomed means to rouse men, who were now as sleepers, to the worship of Himself; for which reason the Evangelist says: and manifested His glory. ALCUIN: Because He Himself is the King of glory, Who disposes of all creatures. CHRYSOSTOM, from Hom. 22: He manifested His glory, in so far as this depended from His own act. For if all did not hear of it then, yet they would afterwards come to hear of it. Then follows: and His disciples believed in Him. For they were obliged to believe in Him, and also, more readily and with more diligence pay attention to the things that were being done.

AUGUSTINE, Harmony of the Gospels, 2:17: Now if it was on this account that they believed in Him, they were not yet His disciples when they were invited to the marriage, but this was said of them in that manner of speech used when we say that the Apostle Paul was born in Tarsus of Cilicia: for he was not then an apostle. So when we read that the disciples were invited to the wedding feast, we are not to understand that they were already His disciples, but they were to become disciples.

AUGUSTINE, 9: 5, in John: Consider the mysteries that are concealed within this miracle of Our Lord. That must be fulfilled in Christ which was written concerning Him in the Scriptures. There was water. From the water He made wine, when He opened their powers of perceiving, and expounded the Scriptures to them (Lk. xxiv. 13-47), so they tasted what they had not yet tasted, and drank of what they had never drunk. BEDE: The Lord appearing in the flesh, the sweetness of the wine of the former dispensation began, because of the worldly outlook of the Pharisees, to lose its pristine flavour.

AUGUSTINE, Tr. 9, in John, 5, 6, 7: If He had ordered that the water be poured out, and He had poured in wine from the hidden boundaries of His creation, it would seem as if He rejected the Scriptures. When however He changed the water into wine, He showed us that the Old Testament was also from Him; for it was at His order the water jars were filled.

But Scripture is without meaning if Christ be not there understood. Listen to what He Himself says: All things which are written in the Law, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me (Lk. xxiv. 44). We know from what times the Law begins to speak, that is, from the beginning of the world. Thence to this period in which we now are, which is the sixth age. For the first age is computed from Adam to Noah; the second from Noah to Abraham; the third from Abraham to David; the fourth from David to the transmigration into Babylon; the fifth from then until John the Baptist; the sixth from then till the end of the world. The six water jars therefore signify the six ages of the world, in each of which prophecy was not wanting. The prophecies have been filled; the water jars are filled to the brim. What significance is there in saying, they, contained two or three measures apiece? If he had said three only, would not our minds have run immediately to the mystery of the Trinity? But not thus must we do violence to the sense, because He said, two or three. For if the Father and Son are meant, the Holy Spirit must also be understood; as we must know that the Love of the Father and the Son, which is the Holy Spirit, is indivisible. But there is another meaning that is not to be overlooked: the two measures are understood as meaning the two kinds of men, that is, the Jews and Greeks; the three measures stand for the three sons of Noah.

ALCUIN: The waiters are to be interpreted as the Teachers of the New Law, who spiritually interpret the sacred Scriptures to others; the chief steward is one skilled in the law, as Nicodemus, Gamaliel, or Saul. When therefore the word of the Gospel, which is concealed in the letter of the Law, is committed to such as these, it is as though the water made wine is brought to the chief steward of the feast. And in the house of the wedding three orders of guests are aptly noted: for the Church is composed of three classes of the faithful: of the espoused, those called to continence, and those who teach. Christ has kept the good wine until the last, that is, the Gospel, which He reserves till the sixth age of the world.

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19: SS. MARIUS, MARTHA, AUDIFAX AND ABACHUM, MARTYRS (c. A.D. 260)

MARIUS (Maris), a nobleman of Persia, with his wife Martha, and two sons, Audifax and Abachum, being converted to the faith, distributed his fortune among the poor, as the primitive Christians did at Jerusalem, and came to Rome to visit the tombs of the apostles. The Emperor Claudius was then persecuting the Church, and by his order a great number of Christians were driven into the amphitheatre, shot to death with arrows, and their bodies burnt. Our saints gathered and buried their ashes with respect; for which they were apprehended, and after many torments under the governor Marcian, Marius and his two sons were beheaded; Martha was drowned, thirteen miles from Rome, at a place now called Santa Ninfa. They were buried on the Via Cornelia, and they are mentioned with distinction in all the western martyrologies on January 20; but their feast is kept today.

ST CANUTE OF DENMARK, MARTYR

ST CANUTE (Cnut) of Denmark was a natural son of Swein Estrithson, whose uncle Canute had reigned in England. He advanced a claim to the crown of that country, but his attempt on Northumbria in 1075 was a complete failure; in 1081 he succeeded his brother Harold as king of Denmark. The Danes had received the Christian faith some time before, but, as has been said of Canute of England, their “religious enthusiasm was quaintly tinged with barbarian naïveté“. Perhaps the word “tinged” is hardly strong enough. Canute II married Adela, sister of Robert, Count of Flanders, by whom he had a son, Bd Charles the Good. He enacted several laws for the administration of justice and in restraint of the jarls, granted privileges and immunities to the clergy, and exacted tithes for their subsistence; unfortunately one effect of his activities was to make some churchmen feudal lords who gave more attention to their temporal than to their spiritual profit and duties. Canute showed a royal magnificence in building and endowing churches, and gave the crown which he wore to the church of Roskilde, which became the burial-place of the Danish kings.

In 1085 Canute reasserted his claim to England, and made extensive preparations for invasion, in concert with Robert of Flanders and Olaf of Norway. The enterprise was brought to nothing by disputes with his jarls and people. They were becoming more and more restive under his imposition of taxes, tithes and a new social order, and under his brother Olaf they broke into open rebellion. Canute fled to the island of Fünen, and took refuge in the church of St Alban at Odense (said to have its name from a relic brought from England by Canute). When the insurgents surrounded the church he confessed his sins and received communion; an attack was begun, bricks and stones being thrown through the windows, and eventually the king was killed as he knelt before the altar. His brother Benedict and seventeen others perished with him. This happened on July 10, 1086.

Aelnoth, Canute’s biographer, a monk of Canterbury who had spent twenty-four years in Denmark, goes on to tell us that God attested the sanctity of the slain monarch by many miraculous healings of the sick at his tomb, for which reason his relics were taken up and honourably enshrined. Canute’s second successor, Eric III, having sent to Rome evidence of the miracles wrought there, Pope Paschal II authorized the veneration of St Canute, though it is not easy to see upon what his claim to martyrdom rests. Aelnoth adds that the first preachers of Christianity in Denmark and Scandinavia were Englishmen, and that the Swedes were the most difficult to convert.

(Butler’s Lives of the Saints)

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THE YEAR

AND OUR CHILDREN

Planning the Family Activities for Christian Feasts and Seasons

By Mary Reed Newland (1956)

6

THE CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL

January 25

Now there lived in Damascus a disciple named Ananias. As Our Lord spoke to Saul, He also appeared to Ananias and told him about Saul waiting in the house on Strait Street. But Ananias was doubtful. He recalled Saul’s reputation, and then Our Lord told Ananias something of the future of this violent ugly little man—that he would go to preach His name “before Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.”

SAUL INTO PAUL

That was enough. Ananias went right out to find him. Entering the house where he waited, he laid his hands on Saul’s head and restored his sight. Far more wonderful, he baptized him. Saul, stopping only long enough to break his fast, rushed (he always rushed) out to the steps of the synagogue and started to preach Christ crucified.

The people were dumbfounded. Here was the man always so full of hate suddenly so full of love. It didn’t take them long to gather their wits, however, and soon it was whispered that men lay in wait for Saul to kill him before he could slip through the city gates. But God had plans.

One night when the city was sleeping and the enemy keeping watch by the gate, a silent group of men made their way to the city wall carrying a rope and a large basket (perhaps some good wife’s clothesbasket). They climbed to the top, tied the rope to the basket, and tucked someone in, and then—as in Peter and the Wolf—they “carefully lowered it down” and saw him land safely and scurry off in the direction of Jerusalem. Maybe one day later on, a message arrived from the city: All comes out in the wash. Who knows? It was the kind of thing the early Christians did. They were not above using code messages and symbols, cryptograms and signs to communicate right under the noses of their enemy.

There is more to the story of St. Paul, but this is the beginning and the episode we celebrate with this feast. The children must know, in addition to all this, that he was a tentmaker by trade, and why, if he was named Saul, he is called St. Paul. Tarsus was a city governed by Roman law, and Paul was as proud of being a Roman citizen by birth as he was of being a Jew. Paulus was the Roman (Latin) for Saul, and he liked to be known by that name.

A PAUL CHARADE

Now for the fun. This is a charade that works equally well at home and in a classroom with the story familiar and well reviewed. One set of charades will describe who Paul was. Another set will describe three details of his conversion. Three excerpts from his Epistles will introduce the children to some important things he said.

1. We describe him as a Jew.

Boy wearing beanie (like the Yarmelke, the cap worn by boys and men in the synagogue) and imitation prayer shawl sits before audience reading from prayer book. (These articles of wearing apparel are explained beforehand.)

2. We describe him as a Pharisee.

Girl stands before group of children with arms piled high with books. She says sternly, shaking finger at them: “Woe to those who do not keep the Law! And its ten thousand regulations!”

3. We describe him as a Roman.

Boy stands before group holding sign on which is printed:

WHEN IN ___________DO AS THE ____________ DO.

He says loudly: “I live in one of the oldest cities in the world. It is called the Eternal City.” (“Eternal City” is a name the Christians have given to Rome.)

4. We describe him as a tentmaker.

Boy drapes sheet over two chairs, then pantomimes sewing tent seams with imaginary needle and thread. Finished, he crawls inside tent, peers out, saying: “This is my home and I made it myself.”

5. We describe him under his Jewish name, Saul.

Boy seated on floor with crown on his head, deep in thought. He looks worried, then says: “Who will come forth to fight the giant Goliath?” This of course is King Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin, after whom Saul of Tarsus was named.

Now we describe three scenes from his conversion.

1. The ride to Damascus.

Boy sits astraddle chair or stool as though riding a horse at full gallop. Suddenly sees light in the sky, covers eyes, falls to floor. (This charade is no trouble to cast as all local cowboys eagerly volunteer. Great success always.)

2. We have Ananias and Paul at Paul’s Baptism.

Boy with eyes closed to suggest blindness kneels on floor with hands folded in prayer. Girl answers knock at door, leads second boy into room. He places hands on head of blind one, latter opens eyes. Girl brings cup (pretending water) and two boys pantomime Baptism.

3. The escape from Damascus.

Boys enter with clothesbasket, rope, and sheet. Mount three chairs placed together, or low table or bench, tie rope to basket which is set on floor. Boy playing part of Paul gets down in basket and others cover with sheet. Pantomime slowly letting rope out as if lowering basket over wall. (No clowns need apply for parts in this.)

Now we come to the Epistles. These should be discussed during the preparation for the feast, as well as frequently when circumstances suggest them. All appeal especially to children.

l. Run the race as though there were only one prize (I Cor. 9:24).

Boy crouches down in position of runner about to start race. Second boy holds crown and says: “Run your best—there is only one prize!” (You have explained this previously in terms of life, death and eternity.)

2. “If I . . . have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal” (I Cor. 13: 1).

Boy stands before audience and says: “I have great faith. I have great hope. I possess many gifts.” Girl asks: “And do you not have charity, which means love?” Boy scowls and says: “No!” Girl brings two pot lids from behind her back and clangs them together as cymbals.

3. Put ye on therefore . . . the cloak of mercy, kindness, humility, modesty, patience (Col. 3: 12).

(In some translations you will find soul for cloak and benignity for kindness. It is quite proper to make the above substitutions.) Girl stands before audience and boy lays across her shoulders a cape made from an old sheet on which is lettered KINDNESS. (This text has tremendous appeal for children, especially as they start for school each morning. Putting on daily your cloak of kindness is a beautiful thing to do.)

These charades are lots of fun and they teach. Some of them may be simplified for very small children, but strive always to give them more rather than less. Make them reach with their minds. They will if you keep coaxing. They have a surprising capacity for really big ideas.

The Collect from St. Paul’s Mass may be used as part of evening prayers this night; and have one of the children compose a little prayer asking Paul to help us see Christ in each other, and love the Christ we see in each other. When a child expresses these ideas in his own words he learns them all the better.

Then after they are in bed with their heads full of Christ and St. Paul, you can turn to this saint with the groan of the well-spent parent (or Sister) and say: “You boasted of being all things to all men: very well, they are your children too. Please help us to make them apostles. Please help us to make them saints.”

(To be continued)

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Father Krier will be in Eureka on January 20. He will be in Los Angeles February 4 and Pahrump on February 13.

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