Category Archives: Church History

Islamist Invasion: The visions of John Paul II

The Islamist Invasion: The visions of Pope John Paul II

Source:http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/11/24/st-john-paul-ii-had-vision-of-an-islamist-invasion-of-europe/

(Mgr Mauro Longhi, who often accompanied the former Pope on hiking trips while still a student, said St John Paul was a mystic who “dialogued” with Our Lady [His Blessed Mother] and had prophetic visions.)

Mgr Mauro Longhi said… [Pope John Paul II] foresaw a ‘mortal wound’ to the Church in the third millennium [2000 – 2999] He had a prophetic vision of an “Islamist invasion” of Europe, a former confidant has claimed. He made the remarks during a lecture at the Hermitage of Saints Peter and Paul in Bienno, northern Italy, which has been posted on YouTube.

During one meeting in 1992, Mgr Longhi says, John Paul II told of a disturbing vision he had had about the future of Europe.

“The Pope told me: ‘Tell this to those whom you will meet in the Church of the third millennium. I see the Church afflicted by a mortal wound. More profound, more painful than those of this millennium,’ referring to Communism and Nazi totalitarianism. ‘It is called Islamism. They will invade Europe. I have seen the hordes come from the West to the East,’ and then told to me each country one by one: from Morocco to Libya to Egypt, and so on till the East.

“The Holy Father added: ‘They will invade Europe, Europe will be like a basement, old relics, shadows, cobwebs. Family heirlooms. You, the Church of the third millennium, must contain the invasion. Not with armies, armies will not be enough, but with your faith, lived with integrity.

Mgr Longhi accompanied Pope John Paul II on hiking and skiing trips from 1985 until he was ordained 10 years later. He said the Pope would leave Rome in a modest car, so as not to attract attention, and stay at an Opus Dei home in the mountains in Abruzzo.

At night, the Pope would often kneel before the Tabernacle in the chapel of the building, conversing “at times even animatedly” with the Lord.

Mgr Longhi also said that Cardinal Andrzej Deskur, one of John Paul II’s closest friends, told him the pontiff had the “gift of visions”. “He speaks to God Incarnate, Jesus; he sees His face and he sees also the face of Our Lady, His [Blessed Mother],” the cardinal said.

Pope John Paul II is well-known for promoting inter-faith dialogue between Catholics and Muslims, most famously becoming the first Pope to set foot inside a mosque in 2001.

However, in his 2003 encyclical Ecclesia in Europa, the former pontiff wrote that dialogue with Islam “needs to be conducted prudently, with clear ideas about possibilities and limits, and with confidence in God’s saving plan for all his children.”

“It is also necessary to take into account the notable gap between European culture, with its profound Christian roots, and Muslim thought,” he added.

How beer saved the world

[One Way, for there were many.] by Deacon Dennis
Good Morning, good people!

May the Lord give you His Peace!

Today I send along a site that reinforces the contention that beer saved the World, or at least Western Civilization during the Middle Ages, and that the Monks were the ones who saved Western Civilization by producing and selling their beer.

As populations began to migrate to ever larger cities and towns during this time, sewage disposal became simply a matter of throwing food waste and night soil wastes into the streets which washed into the rivers and streams.  This was fine if you lived upstream, but if you lived downstream in the next town, water was not the healthiest thing you could drink.  As the article points out, “Beer production served other purposes too. The Rule outlines the monastery’s obligation to show hospitality to travelers and pilgrims. Beer was safer to drink in medieval times than water contaminated by sewage, and therefore was served to visitors.”

The YouTube video attached to the article entitled “Beer Brewing Monks Celebrate 1 Year of Production” documents the Benedictine monks in Norcia, Italy, celebrating their first year of beer production,

You can  find a Discovery Channel Documentary, “How Beer Saved the World” (2011) on Netflix that traces the origins of beer and devotes considerable time to the contention that it was indeed the monks who save Western Civilization through their production of and selling of beer.  The writers are a bit “off” on some of their notions (example – that the monks used beer to lure people to Sunday Mass by the promise of a beer-blast following the Mass) but the idea of boiling the beer mash (the grains and water) and other sanitary practices necessary to good beer production instituted by the monks did indeed prevent many water-borne diseases such as Campylobacteriosis, Cholera, E Coli Infections, Dysentery, and Typhoid Fever, just to name a few that could wipe out the major portion of the populations of those cities and towns of the time since there were no antibiotics that could combat these.  Death from untreated Cholera, for example, is within 10-18 hours from the onset of symptoms (profuse diarrhea and vomiting) especially among the youngest and weakest.

Some Trappist Beers at a store devoted to craft beers here in Warner Robins and Chimay in our local Kroger.

The failure of history without Christ

Flag with cross

Flag with cross

On the failure of history—and historians—without Christ
By Dr. Jeff Mirus, Jan 29, 2015

Your Editor’s note: Our country’s beginning was framed with God and His Son in mind.

When I was a brash young graduate student in the very early 1970s, Professor Lawrence Stone tried to teach me that the English Revolution and civil war were essentially caused by social and demographic factors, and that the previous emphasis on religious differences was essentially laughable. I remember telling him, with my classic humility, that he had the cart before the horse. (Extaordinarly witty, no? But it is deceptively easy to draw down on a professor when you’re 22, you’ve been admitted to the Ivy League, and you already know everything.)

It so happened that Professor Stone did not like my attention to religious beliefs as historical motivators, and so he did what any open-minded sceptic would do: He tried to get my fellowship revoked so I could not continue to study at Princeton. Amazingly, this turned out to be a violation of the rules as long as my grades were good. But it also taught me a significant lesson about how academic reputations are made (usually by attacking someone else’s theory) and retained (usually by advancing students who have become your clones). Read More

Oldest known copy of the Gospels.

Archeologists are expecting the publication of what could be the oldest known copy of one of the Gospels.
The fragmentary text, taken from the Gospel of St. Mark, was reportedly discovered on a sheet of papyrus that was used for a mummy. Experts believe that the text dates back to the 1st century.
The discovery of the Gospel text has been surrounded by mystery because some scientists object to the process in which papyrus is removed from a mummy’s mask, thereby destroying the mask itself.

Go to: http://www.livescience.com/49489-oldest-known-gospel-mummy-mask.html

1st-century Gospel text found in mummy’s mask?

A mummy mask was one of the masks that the researchers took apart to reveal ancient papyri. This mummy mask is similar to the one that contained the first century gospel fragment.
Credit: Courtesy of Prof. Craig Evans

A text that may be the oldest copy of a gospel known to exist — a fragment of the Gospel of Mark that was written during the first century, before the year 90 — is set to be published.

At present, the oldest surviving copies of the gospel texts date to the second century (the years 101 to 200).

This first-century gospel fragment was written on a sheet of papyrus that was later reused to create a mask that was worn by a mummy. Although the mummies of Egyptian pharaohs wore masks made of gold, ordinary people had to settle for masks made out of papyrus (or linen), paint and glue. Given how expensive papyrus was, people often had to reuse sheets that already had writing on them. 

In recent years scientists have developed a technique that allows the glue of mummy masks to be undone without harming the ink on the paper. The text on the sheets can then be read.

The first-century gospel is one of hundreds of new texts that a team of about three-dozen scientists and scholars is working to uncover, and analyze, by using this technique of ungluing the masks, said Craig Evans, a professor of New Testament studies at Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

“We’re recovering ancient documents from the first, second and third centuries. Not just Christian documents, not just biblical documents, but classical Greek texts, business papers, various mundane papers, personal letters,” Evans told Live Science. The documents include philosophical texts and copies of stories by the Greek poet Homer. [See Images of Early Christian Inscriptions and Artifacts]

The business and personal letters sometimes have dates on them, he said. When the glue was dissolved, the researchers dated the first-century gospel in part by analyzing the other documents found in the same mask.

One drawback to the process is that the mummy mask is destroyed, and so scholars in the field are debating whether that particular method should be used to reveal the texts they contain.

But Evans emphasized that the masks that are being destroyed to reveal the new texts are not high quality ones that would be displayed in a museum. Some are not masks at all but are simply pieces of cartonnage.

Evans told Live Science, “We’re not talking about the destruction of any museum-quality piece.”

The technique is bringing many new texts to light, Evans noted. “From a single mask, it’s not strange to recover a couple dozen or even more” new texts, he told Live Science. “We’re going to end up with many hundreds of papyri when the work is done, if not thousands.”

Debate

Scholars who work on the project have to sign a nondisclosure agreement that limits what they can say publicly. There are several reasons for this agreement. One is that some of the owners of these masks simply do not want to be made known, Evans said. “The scholars who are working on this project have to honor the request of the museums, universities, private owners, so forth.”

The owners of the mummy masks retain ownership of the papyrus sheets after the glue on them is dissolved.

Evans said that the only reason he can talk about the first-century gospel before it is published is because a member of the team leaked some of the information in 2012. Evans was careful to say that he is not telling Live Science anything about the first-century gospel that hasn’t already been leaked online.

Soon after the 2012 leak, speculation surrounded the methods that the scholars used to figure out the gospel’s age.

Evans says that the text was dated through a combination of carbon-14 dating, studying the handwriting on the fragment and studying the other documents found along with the gospel. These considerations led the researchers to conclude that the fragment was written before the year 90. With the nondisclosure agreement in place, Evans said that he can’t say much more about the text’s date until the papyrus is published.

Destruction of mummy masks

The process that is used to obtain the papyri, which involves the destruction of the mummy masks, has also generated debate. For instance, archaeologist Paul Barford, who writes about collecting and heritage issues, has written a scathing blog post criticizing the work on the gospel.

Roberta Mazza, a lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Manchester, has blogged her concerns about the text as has Brice Jones, a doctoral candidate in religion at Concordia University.

When the texts are published the debate is likely to move beyond the blogosphere and into mainstream media and scholarly journals.

Biblical clues

Although the first-century gospel fragment is small, the text will provide clues as to whether the Gospel of Mark changed over time, Evans said.

His own research is focused on analyzing the mummy mask texts, to try to determine how long people held onto them before disposing or reusing them. This can yield valuable information about how biblical texts were copied over time.

“We have every reason to believe that the original writings and their earliest copies would have been in circulation for a hundred years in most cases — in some cases much longer, even 200 years,” he said.

This means that “a scribe making a copy of a script in the third century could actually have at his disposal (the) first-century originals, or first-century copies, as well as second-century copies.”

Set to publish

Evans said that the research team will publish the first volume of texts obtained through the mummy masks and cartonnage later this year. It will include the gospel fragment that the researchers believe dates back to the first century. 

The team originally hoped the volume would be published in 2013 or 2014, but the date had to be moved back to 2015. Evans said he is uncertain why the book’s publication was delayed, but the team has made use of the extra time to conduct further studies into the first-century gospel.
“The benefit of the delay is that when it comes out, there will be additional information about it and other related texts.”

For more information on this subject go to: Catholic World News, = CatholicCulture.org =
http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=23795

THE TAU CROSS AND ITS ORIGIN

THE TAU CROSS

“The early biographies of Francis tell us that he used the TAU very often as an expression of his devotion to the Cross of Jesus. The TAU was also spoken of at the IV Lateran Council by Pope Innocent M.” It is recorded: “The person who bears on his forehead the sign of the TAU shows in his way of life the splendour of the Cross -, who bears the TAU has crucified the flesh with its vices and sins; who bears the TAU affirms by this: in nothing else do I wish to glory except in the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ… Who bears the TAU will find mercy, in this, sign of a life converted and renewed in Christ… Therefore, be ye champions of the TAU and of the Cross!”

“Obedient to the call of the Pope, Francis signed himself with the TAU of penance. It would be his favorite symbol reminding him and his friars of their vocation to preach penance and conversion to Christ. This would be the Crusade of St. Francis, a crusade not of armed soldiers to recover Jerusalem, but a crusade of penitent men from Assisi to preach to everyone: ‘Do penance… be converted and bring forth fruits worthy of penance.'”

AN EXPLANATION OF THE TAU SYMBOL

This coat of arms has been the symbol of the Franciscan Order for many centuries. The image of the two crossed arms, each with a nail wound in the hand represent both Christ and St. Francis who received the Stigmata (the wounds of Christ) in his body two years before he died.
The cross behind the arms is actually the letter ‘T or ‘tau’ which is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
Francis was very fond of the passage in the prophet Ezekiel (9:4) which refers to the faithful of God all being signed on the forehead with the letter ‘tau’. Francis often signed his letters with this symbol. Pope Innocent III used this image from the prophet Ezekiel for the theme of the opening homily of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215). The Tau became a symbol from the Council for spiritual renewal in the Church. It is thought that Francis was present at this council and used the Tau from that moment on.