Sunday, February 3, 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Sacrament, Malachi 3:1-4, Psalms 24:7-19, 23-24, 39-40, Luke 2:22-40, Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac , Bordeaux France, Bordeaux Viticulture, Catholic Catechism Part One Section 2 The Creeds Chapter 1:1 I Believe in God The Father

Saturday, February 2, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Sacrament, Malachi 3:1-4, Psalms 24:7-19, 23-24, 39-40, Luke 2:22-40, Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac , Bordeaux France, Bordeaux Viticulture, Catholic Catechism Part One Section 2 The Creeds Chapter 1:1 I Believe in God The Father

Good Day Bloggers!  Happy Mardi Gras!
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Purgatory and/or Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


February 2, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
"Dear children, love is bringing me to you - the love which I desire to teach you also - real love; the love which my Son showed you when He died on the Cross out of love for you; the love which is always ready to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. How great is your love? My motherly heart is sorrowful as it searches for love in your hearts. You are not ready to submit your will to God's will out of love. You cannot help me to have those who have not come to know God's love to come to know it, because you do not have real love. Consecrate your hearts to me and I will lead you. I will teach you to forgive, to love your enemies and to live according to my Son. Do not be afraid for yourselves. In afflictions my Son does not forget those who love. I will be beside you. I will implore the Heavenly Father for the light of eternal truth and love to illuminate you. Pray for your shepherds so that through your fasting and prayer they can lead you in love. Thank you."

January 25, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
"Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. May your prayer be as strong as a living stone, until with your lives you become witnesses. Witness the beauty of your faith. I am with you and intercede before my Son for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call."


Today's Word:  sacrament   sac·ra·ment  [sak-ruh-muhnt]

Origin: 1150–1200; Middle English  < Medieval Latin sacrāmentum  obligation, oath, Late Latin:  mystery, rite, equivalent to Latin sacrā ( re ) to devote + -mentum -ment

1. Ecclesiastical . a visible sign of an inward grace, especially one of the solemn Christian rites considered to have been instituted by Jesus Christ to symbolize or confer grace: the sacraments of the Protestant churches are baptism and the Lord's Supper; the sacraments of the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches are baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist, matrimony, penance, holy orders, and extreme unction.
2. ( often initial capital letter  ) . Also called Holy Sacrament. the Eucharist or Lord's Supper.
3. the consecrated elements of the Eucharist, especially the bread.
4. something regarded as possessing a sacred character or mysterious significance.
5. a sign, token, or symbol.
6. an oath; solemn pledge.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 24:7-10

7 Gates, lift high your heads, raise high the ancient gateways, and the king of glory shall enter!
8 Who is he, this king of glory? It is Yahweh, strong and valiant, Yahweh valiant in battle.
9 Gates, lift high your heads, raise high the ancient gateways, and the king of glory shall enter!
10 Who is he, this king of glory? Yahweh Sabaoth, he is the king of glory


Today's Epistle -  Malachi 3:1-4

1 'Look, I shall send my messenger to clear a way before me. And suddenly the Lord whom you seek will come to his Temple; yes, the angel of the covenant, for whom you long, is on his way, says Yahweh Sabaoth.
2 Who will be able to resist the day of his coming? Who will remain standing when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire, like fullers' alkali.
3 He will take his seat as refiner and purifier; he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they can make the offering to Yahweh with uprightness.
4 The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will then be acceptable to Yahweh as in former days, as in the years of old.


Today's Gospel Reading - Luke 2:22-40

The presentation of the Child in the Temple 
1. Opening prayer
O God, our Creator and Father, you willed that your Son, generated before the dawn of the world, should become a member of the human family. Rekindle in us an appreciation for the gift of life, so that parents may participate in the fruitfulness of your love, old people may pass on to young ones their mature wisdom, and children may grow in wisdom, piety and grace, all giving praise to your holy name. Through Christ our Lord.

2. Reading: Luke 2:22-40
When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord") and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons." 

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law,  he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,  "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel."

And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

3. A moment of prayerful silence
- that the Word of God may dwell in us and that we may allow it to enlighten our lives;
- that before we pass any comments, the very light of the Word may shine and dominate with the mystery of the living presence of the Lord.

4. Some questions to help us in our personal reflection.
a) Why should Jesus, Son of the Most High, and his mother Mary, conceived without sin, obey the prescriptions of Moses? Maybe because Mary was not yet aware of her innocence and holiness?
b) Is there special significance in the words and attitudes of Simeon and the prophetess Anna? Do not their actions and joy perhaps recall the style of the ancient prophets?
c) How can we explain this "sword" that pierces: is it a rending of the consciences before the challenges and richness of Jesus? Or is it only the inner pains of the Mother?
d) Can this scene mean anything to parents today: for the religious formation of their children; for the plan that God has for each of their children; for the fears and sufferings that parents carry in their hearts when they think of the time when their children grow up?

5. A key to the reading  for those who wish go deeper into the text.
a) As laid down in the law of Moses/of the Lord. This is a kind of refrain repeated several times. Luke mixes two prescriptions without making any distinction. The purification of the mother was foreseen in Leviticus (12:2-8) and was to take place forty days after the birth. Until then, the woman could not approach sacred places, and the ceremony was accompanied by the gift of a small animal. But the consecration of the first-born was prescribed in Exodus 13:11-16, and was considered a kind of "ransom" in memory of the saving action of God when he liberated the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. For this also the offering was a small animal. In all of this scene, the parents seem to be in the process of presenting/offering their son as was done with sacrifices and Levites, while through the persons of Simeon and Anna it seems rather God who offers/presents the son for the salvation of people.

b) Simeon and Anna: these are figures full of symbolical value. Their role is one of recognition, that comes from both the enlightenment and action of the Spirit and a life lived in expectation and faith. Simeon especially is defined as prodekòmenos, that is, one entirely absorbed in waiting, and one who goes forward to welcome. He, too, appears to be obedient to the law, the law of the Spirit, who leads him towards the child in the temple. The canticle he proclaims manifests his pro-existentia, he has lived in order to come to this moment and now he withdraws so that others may see the light and the salvation to come for Israel and the pagans. Anna completes the picture, by her very age (symbolical value: 84 equals 7x12, the twelve tribes of Israel; or 84 – 7 = 77, double perfection), but above all by her way of living (fasting and praying) and by her proclamation to all who "looked forward". She is led by the Spirit of prophecy, docile and purified in her heart. Besides, she belongs to the smallest of the tribes, that of Aser, a sign that the small and fragile are those more disposed to recognise Jesus, the Saviour. Both of these old persons – who look like an original couple – are symbols of the best of Judaism, of faithful and meek Jerusalem, that awaits and rejoices and that from now on allows the new light to shine.

c) A sword will pierce: generally these words are interpreted as meaning that Mary will suffer, a drama made visible of the Our Lady of Sorrows. Rather, we need to see the Mother as a symbol of Israel. Simeon feels the drama of his people who will be deeply torn by the living and sharp word of the redeemer (cf Lk 12:51-53). Mary represents the path: she must trust, but will go through times of pain and darkness, struggles and painful silences. The story of the suffering Messiah will be painful for all, even for the Mother. One does not follow the new light of the whole world without paying the cost, without being provoked to make risky choices, without being always born again from on high and in newness. But these images of the "sword that pierces", of the child who will "trip" and shake hearts from their lethargy, are not to be separated from the meaningful action of the two old persons: the one, Simeon, takes the child in his arms to show that faith is a meeting and an embrace, not an idea of theorem; the other, Anna, takes on the role of proclaiming and enkindles a bright light in the hearts of all who "looked forward" to him.

d) Daily life, an epiphany of God: finally, it is interesting to note that the whole episode emphasises the situation of the most simple and homely: the young couple with the child in their arms; the old man who rejoices and embraces, the old lady who prays and proclaims, those listening who appear to be indirectly involved. At the end of the passage, we also get a glimpse of the village of Nazareth, of the growth of the child in a normal context, the impression of a child extraordinarily gifted with wisdom and goodness. The theme of wisdom woven into the fabric of normal life and growth in a village context, leaves the story as if in suspense, and it will be taken up again precisely with the theme of the wisdom of the boy among the doctors in the temple. Indeed, this is the episode that follows immediately (Lk 2:41-52).
6. Psalm 122
I was glad when they said to me,
"Let us go to the house of the Lord!"
Our feet have been standing within your gates,
O Jerusalem!
Jerusalem, built as a city which is bound firmly together,
to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
There thrones for judgment were set,
the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
"May they prosper who love you!
Peace be within your walls,
and security within your towers!"
For my brethren and companions' sake I will say,
"Peace be within you!"
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good.

7. Final Prayer
Father, we praise you and we bless you because through your Son, born of woman by the working of the Holy Spirit, born under the law, has ransomed us from the law and you have filled our life with light and new hope. May our families welcome and remain faithful to your designs, may they help and sustain in their children the new dreams and enthusiasm, wrap them in tenderness when they are fragile, educate them in love for you and for all creatures. All honor and glory to you, Father.

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St Joan of Lestonnac

Feast DayFebruary 2
Patron Saint

Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac (December 27, 1556 – February 2, 1640), alternately known as Joan of Lestonnac, was a Roman Catholic saint and founderess of the order The Company of Mary Our Lady. Catholics claim that although she lived in the 17th century her body remains incorrupt.


Early years

Sainte Jeanne de Lestonnac was born in Bordeaux, France in 1556 to a prominent family. Her father, Richard de Lestonnac, was a member of the French Parliament while her mother, Jeanne Eyquem, was the sister of the philosopher, Michel de Montaigne. She grew up in a time where the conflict between the Protestant reformists and the defenders of the Catholic faith was at its height. This was evident in her family. While her mother was an enthuasiatic Calvinist, her father and her uncle Montaigne adhered to the Catholic tradition.

At the age of 17 she married Baron de Montferrand-Landiras and had 3 children, but these died after they were born. Later on she had 5 more children, 2 boys and 3 girls. She was married for 24 years before her husband died. This marked a painful time in her life where not only her husband but her father, uncle and eldest son also died.

She didn't feel "complete" after 4 of the great men she loved had died. She felt God was calling her for a plan and needed "sacrifice" to make it complete.

Religious life

Following her husband's death, Jeanne de Lestonnac turned to a contemplative life and entered the Cistercian Monastery in Toulouse at the age of 46 and took the name Jeanne of Saint Bernard, however, she became very ill and had to leave. After the leaving the monastery she lived in the La Mothe countryside and began a period of deep discernment. In 1607, at the age of 51, and with the approval of Pope Paul V she established the religious order: The Company of Mary. She envisions the essential task of the order is to educate girls. Soon the order established its first school for girls in Bordeaux. By the time she died in 1640 at the age of 84, 30 houses existed in France.


Jeanne de Lestonnac was beatified in 1900 by Pope Leo XIII and was canonized on May 15, 1949 by Pope Pius XII. Today her religious order has over 2,500 sisters and are found in 17 countries throughout Europe, Africa, North America and South America.
  • The Company of Mary Our Lady Official site
  • Catholic Forum
  • Works by or about Jeanne de Lestonnac in libraries (WorldCat catalog)


Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane



Today's Snippet I:   Bordeaux Viticulture

A Bordeaux wine is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France, centred on the city of Bordeaux and covering the whole area of the Gironde department, with a total vineyard area of over 120,000 hectares, making it the largest wine growing area in France. Average vintages produce over 700 million bottles of Bordeaux wine, ranging from large quantities of everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world. 89% of wine produced in Bordeaux is red (called "claret" in Britain), with sweet white wines (most notably Sauternes), dry whites, and also (in much smaller quantities) rosé and sparkling wines (Crémant de Bordeaux) collectively making up the remainder. Bordeaux wine is made by more than 8,500 producers or châteaux. There are 54 appellations of Bordeaux wine.

"Claret", usage

Claret (KLARR-ət) is a name primarily used in British English for red Bordeaux wine.

Claret derives from the French clairet,[3] a now uncommon dark rosé, which was the most common wine exported from Bordeaux until the 18th century. The name was anglicised to "claret" as a result of its widespread consumption in England during the period in the 12th–15th centuries that Aquitaine was under the English crown (see below under History). It is a protected name within the European Union, describing a red Bordeaux wine, accepted after the British wine trade demonstrated over 300 years' usage of the term.[3]

Claret is occasionally used in the United States as a semi-generic label for red wine in the style of the Bordeaux, ideally from the same grapes as are permitted in Bordeaux. The French themselves do not use the term, except for export purposes.

The meaning of "claret" has changed over time to refer to a dry, dark red Bordeaux.[3] It has remained a term associated with the English upper class, and consequently appears on bottles of generic red Bordeaux in an effort to raise its status in the market.[4]

In November 2011, the president of the Union des Maisons de Négoce de Bordeaux, announced an intention to use the term Claret de Bordeaux for wines that are "light and fruity, easy to drink, in the same style as the original claret when it was prized by the English in former centuries".[5]


The vine was introduced to the Bordeaux region by the Romans, probably in the mid-1st century, to provide wine for local consumption, and wine production has been continuous in the region since then.[6]

In the 12th century, the popularity of Bordeaux wines in England increased dramatically following the marriage of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine.[7] The marriage made the province of Aquitaine English territory, and thenceforth the majority of Bordeaux was exported.[7] At this time, Graves was the principal wine region of Bordeaux, and the principal style was clairet. This accounts for the ubiquity of claret in England. The export of Bordeaux was interrupted by the outbreak of The Hundred Years' War between France and England in 1337.[7] By the end of the conflict in 1453 France had repossessed the province, thus taking control of wine production in the region.[7]

In the seventeenth century, Dutch traders drained the swampy ground of the Médoc in order that it could be planted with vines, and this gradually surpassed Graves as the most prestigious region of Bordeaux. Malbec was dominant grape here, until the early 19th century, when it was replaced by Cabernet Sauvignon.[8]
In 1855, the châteaux of Bordeaux were classified; this classification remains widely used today.

From 1875-1892 almost all Bordeaux vineyards were ruined by Phylloxera infestations.[7] The region's wine industry was rescued by grafting native vines on to pest-resistant American rootstock and all Bordeaux vines that survive to this day are a product of this action.[7] This is not to say that all contemporary Bordeaux wines are truly American wines, as rootstock does not affect the production of grapes.

Climate and geography

The major reason for the success of winemaking in the Bordeaux region is the excellent environment for growing vines. The geological foundation of the region is limestone, leading to a soil structure that is heavy in calcium. The Gironde estuary dominates the regions along with its tributaries, the Garonne and the Dordogne rivers, and together irrigate the land and provide an Atlantic Climate, also known as an oceanic climate, for the region.[9]

These rivers define the main geographical subdivisions of the region:
  • "The right bank", situated on the right bank of Dordogne, in the northern parts of the region, around the city of Libourne.
  • Entre-deux-mers, French for "between two seas", the area between the rivers Dordogne and Garonne, in the centre of the region.
  • "The left bank", situated on the left bank of Garonne, in the west and south of the region, around the city of Bordeaux itself. The left bank is further subdivided into:
    • Graves, the area upstream of the city Bordeaux.
    • Médoc, the area downstream of the city Bordeaux, situated on a peninsula between Gironde and the Atlantic.
In Bordeaux the concept of terroir plays a pivotal role in wine production with the top estates aiming to make terroir driven wines that reflect the place they are from, often from grapes collected from a single vineyard.[10] The soil of Bordeaux is composed of gravel, sandy stone, and clay. The region's best vineyards are located on the well drained gravel soils that are frequently found near the Gironde river. An old adage in Bordeaux is the best estates can "see the river" from their vineyard and majority of land that face riverside are occupied by classified estates.[11]


Wine-growing areas on the left bank of Bordeaux

Red Bordeaux is generally made from a blend of grapes. Permitted grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carménère.[12] Today Malbec and Carménère are rarely used, with Château Clerc Milon, a fifth growth Bordeaux, being one of the few to still retain Carménère vines.

As a very broad generalization, Cabernet Sauvignon (Bordeaux's second-most planted grape variety) dominates the blend in red wines produced in the Médoc and the rest of the left bank of the Gironde estuary. Typical top-quality Chateaux blends are 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc & 15% Merlot. This is typically referred to as the "Bordeaux Blend." Merlot (Bordeaux's most-planted grape variety) and to a lesser extent Cabernet Franc (Third most planted variety) tend to predominate in Saint-Émilion, Pomerol and the other right bank appellations. These Right Bank blends from top-quality Chateaux are typically 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc & 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.[13]

White Bordeaux is predominantly, and exclusively in the case of the sweet Sauternes, made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle - Typical blends are usually 80% Sémillon, 20% Sauvignon Blanc. As with the reds, white Bordeaux wines are usually blends, most commonly of Sémillon and a smaller proportion of Sauvignon Blanc. Other permitted grape varieties are Sauvignon Gris, Ugni Blanc, Colombard, Merlot Blanc, Ondenc and Mauzac.

In the late 1960s Sémillon was the most planted grape in Bordeaux. Since then it has been in constant decline although it still is the most common of Bordeaux's white grapes. Sauvignon Blanc's popularity on the other hand has been rising, overtaking Ugni Blanc as the second most planted white Bordeaux grape in the late 1980s and now being grown in an area more than half the size of that of the lower yielding Sémillon.

Wineries all over the world aspire to making wines in a Bordeaux style. In 1988, a group of American vintners formed The Meritage Association to identify wines made in this way. Although most Meritage wines come from California, there are members of the Meritage Association in 18 states and five other countries, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Israel, and Mexico.

Viticulture and Winemaking


The red grapes in the Bordeaux vineyard are Merlot (62% by area), Cabernet Sauvignon (25%), Cabernet Franc (12%) and a small amount of Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carménère (1% in total). The white grapes are Sémillon (54% by area), Sauvignon Blanc (36%), Muscadelle (7%) and a small amount of Ugni Blanc, Colombard and Folle Blanche (3% in total).[1] Because of the generally humid Bordeaux climate, a variety of pests can cause a problem for the vigneron. In the past, this was counteracted by the widespread use of pesticides, although the use of natural methods has recently been gaining in popularity. The vines are generally trained in either single or double guyot. Hand-picking is preferred by most of the prestigious châteaux, but machine-harvesting is popular in other places.[14]


Following harvest, the grapes are usually sorted and destemmed before crushing. Crushing was traditionally done by foot, but mechanical crushing is now common. Chaptalization is permitted, and fairly common-place. Fermentation then takes place, usually in temperature controlled stainless steel vats. Next the must is pressed and transferred to barriques (in most cases) for a period of ageing (commonly a year). The traditional Bordeaux barrique is an oak barrel with a capacity of 225 litres. At some point between pressing and bottling the wine will be blended. This is an integral part of the Bordeaux winemaking process, as scarcely any Bordeaux wines are varietals; wine from different grape varieties is mixed together, depending on the vintage conditions, so as to produce a wine in the château's preferred style. In addition to mixing wine from different grape varieties, wine from different parts of the vineyard is often be aged separately, and then blended into either the main or the second wine (or sold off wholesale) according to the judgment of the winemaker. The wine is then bottled and usually undergoes a further period of ageing before it is released for sale.[15]

Wine styles

The Bordeaux wine region is divided into subregions including Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, Médoc, and Graves. The 60 Bordeaux appellations and the wine styles they represent are usually categorized into six main families, four red based on the subregions and two white based on sweetness:[16]
  • Red Bordeaux and Red Bordeaux Supérieur. Bordeaux winemakers may use the two regional appellations throughout the entire wine region, however approximately half of the Bordeaux vineyard is specifically designated under Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur AOCs. With the majority of châteaux located on the Right Bank in the Entre-Deux-Mers area, wines are typically Merlot-dominant, often blended with the other classic Bordeaux varieties. There are many small, family-run châteaux, as well as wines blended and sold by wine merchants under commercial brand names. The Bordeaux AOC wines tend to be fruity, with minimal influence of oak, and are produced in a style meant to be drunk young. Bordeaux Superieur AOC wines are produced in the same area, but must follow stricter controls, such as lower yields, and are often aged in oak. For the past 10 years, there has been strong, ongoing investment by the winemakers in both the vineyards and in the cellar, resulting in ever increasing quality. New reforms for the regional appellations were instituted in 2008 by the Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur Winemakers' Association. In 2010, 55% of all Bordeaux wines sold in the world were from Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur AOCs, with 67% sold in France and 33% exported (+9%), representing 14 bottles consumed per second.[16][17]
  • Red Côtes de Bordeaux. Eight appellations are in the hilly outskirts of the region, and produce wines where the blend usually is dominated by Merlot. These wines tend to be intermediate between basic red Bordeaux and the more famous appellations of the left and right bank in both style and quality. However, since none of Bordeaux's stellar names are situated in Côtes de Bordeaux, prices tend to be moderate. There is no official classification in Côtes de Bordeaux.[18] In 2007, 14.7% of the region's vineyard surface was used for wines in this family.[16]
  • Red Libourne, or "Right Bank" wines. Around the city of Libourne, 10 appellations produce wines dominated by Merlot with very little Cabernet Sauvignon, the two most famous being Saint-Émilion and Pomerol. These wines often have great fruit concentration, softer tannins and are long-lived. Saint-Émilion has an official classification.[19] In 2007, 10.5% of the region's vineyard surface was used for wines in this family.[16]
  • Red Graves and Médoc or "Left Bank" wines. North and south of the city of Bordeaux, which are the classic areas, produce wines dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, but often with a significant portion of Merlot. These wines are concentrated, tannic, long-lived and most of them meant to be cellared before drinking. The five First Growths are situated here. There are official classifications for both Médoc and Graves.[20] In 2007, 17.1% of the region's vineyard surface was used for wines in this family.[16]
  • Dry white wines. Dry white wines are made throughout the region, using the regional appellation Bordeaux Blanc, often from 100% Sauvignon Blanc or a blend dominated by Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. The Bordeaux Blanc AOC is used for wines made in appellations that only allow red wines. Dry whites from Graves is the most well-known and the only subregion with a classification for dry white wines. The better versions tend to have a significant oak influence. The [21] In 2007, 7.8% of the region's vineyard surface was used for wines in this family.[16][17]
  • Sweet white wines. In several locations and appellations throughout the region, sweet white wine is made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle grapes affected by noble rot. The best-known of these appellations is Sauternes, which also has an official classification, and where some of the world's most famous sweet wines are produced. There are also appellations neighboring Sauternes, on both sides of the Garonne river, where similar wines are made. The regional appellation for sweet white wines is Bordeaux Supérieur Blanc.[22] In 2007, 3.2% of the region's vineyard surface was used for wines in this family.[16][17]
The vast majority of Bordeaux wine is red, with red wine production outnumbering white wine production six to one.[23]

Wine classification

There are four different classifications of Bordeaux, covering different parts of the region:[24][25]
  • The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, covering (with one exception) red wines of Médoc, and sweet wines of Sauternes-Barsac.
  • The 1955 Official Classification of St.-Émilion, which is updated approximately once every ten years, and last in 2006.
  • The 1959 Official Classification of Graves, initially classified in 1953 and revised in 1959.
  • The Cru Bourgeois Classification, which began as an unofficial classification, but came to enjoy official status and was last updated in 2003. However, after various legal turns, the classification was annulled in 2007.[26] As of 2007, plans exist to revive it as an unofficial classification.[27]
The 1855 classification system was made at the request of Emperor Napoleon III for the Exposition Universelle de Paris. This came to be known as the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, which ranked the wines into five categories according to price. The first growth red wines (four from Médoc and one, Château Haut-Brion, from Graves), are among the most expensive wines in the world.
The first growths are:
  • Château Lafite-Rothschild, in the appellation Pauillac
  • Château Margaux, in the appellation Margaux
  • Château Latour, in the appellation Pauillac
  • Château Haut-Brion, in the appellation Péssac-Leognan
  • Château Mouton Rothschild, in the appellation Pauillac, promoted from second to first growth in 1973.
At the same time, the sweet white wines of Sauternes and Barsac were classified into three categories, with only Château d'Yquem being classified as a superior first growth.

In 1955, St. Émilion AOC were classified into three categories, the highest being Premier Grand Cru Classé A with two members:[24]
  • Château Ausone
  • Château Cheval Blanc
In the 2012 classification, two more Châteaux became members:
  • Château Angélus
  • Château Pavie
There is no official classification applied to Pomerol. However some Pomerol wines, notably Château Pétrus and Château Le Pin, are often considered as being equivalent to the first growths of the 1855 classification, and often sell for even higher prices.

Commercial aspects

Many of the top Bordeaux wines are primarily sold as futures contracts, called selling en primeur. Because of the combination of longevity, fairly large production, and an established reputation, Bordeaux wines tend to be the most common wines at wine auctions. The latest market reports released in February 2009 shows that the market has increased in buying power by 128% while the prices have lowered for the very best Bordeaux wines.[28]

Wine label

Bordeaux wine labels generally include:[29]
  1. The name of estate (Image example: Château Haut-Batailley)
  2. The estate's classification (Image example: Grand Cru Classé en 1855) This can be in reference to the 1855 Bordeaux classification or one of the Cru Bourgeois.
  3. The appellation (Image example: Pauillac) Appellation d'origine contrôlée laws dictate that all grapes must be harvested from a particular appellation in order for that appellation to appear on the label. The appellation is a key indicator of the type of wine in the bottle. With the image example, Pauillac wines are always red, and usually Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant grape variety.
  4. Whether or not the wine is bottled at the chateau (Image example: Mis en Bouteille au Chateau) or assembled by a Négociant.
  5. The vintage (Image example: 2000)
  6. Alcohol content (Image example: 13% vol)


Plan Bordeaux

Plan Bordeaux is an initiative introduced in 2005 by ONIVINS, the French vintners association, designed to reduce France's wine glut and improve sales. Part of the plan is to uproot 17,000 hectares of the 124,000 hectares of vineyards in Bordeaux. The wine industry in Bordeaux has been experiencing economic problems in the face of strong international competition from New World wines and declining wine consumption in France.

In 2004, exports to the U.S. plummeted 59% in value over the previous year. Sales in Britain dropped 33% in value during the same period. The UK, a major market, now imports more wine from Australia than from France. Amongst the possible causes for this economic crisis are that many consumers tend to prefer wine labels that state the variety of grape from which the wine is made, and often find the required French AOC labels difficult to understand.

Christian Delpeuch, president emeritus of Plan Bordeaux hoped to reduce production, improve quality, and sell more wine in the United States. However, two years after the beginning of the program, Mr Delpeuch[30] resigned, "citing the failure of the French government to address properly the wine crisis in Bordeaux." Delpeuch told journalists assembled at the Bordeaux Press Club “I refuse to countenance this continual putting off of decisions which can only end in failure.”[30] "Delpeuch said he was shocked and disappointed by the failure of his efforts—and by the lack of co-operation from winemakers and négociants themselves—to achieve anything concrete in terms of reforms to the Bordeaux wine industry over the last 24 months."[30] The future of Plan Bordeaux is uncertain.

Syndicat des AOC de Bordeaux et Bordeaux Supérieur

Syndicate des Vins de Bordeaux et Bordeaux Supérieur is an organization representing the economic interests of 6,700 wine producers in Bordeaux, France. The wine lake and other economic problems have increased the salience of the winemakers' association, whose members are facing increasing costs and decreasing demand for their product. As the largest appellation producing fine wines, and the strong foundation of the pyramid of Bordeaux wines, Bordeaux AOC & Bordeaux Supérieur AOC today account for 55% of all Bordeaux wines consumed in the world.


    1. ^ (CIVB): Essential Guide to Bordeaux Wines, read on May 28, 2010
    2. ^ "Bordeaux in figures". Retrieved 20 July 2012.
    3. Oxford Companion to Wine. "Claret".
    4. ^ CJ and PK (2011-03-23). "Sediment: Claret or Bordeaux? – Chateau Tour de Barbereau". Retrieved 2012-10-23.
    5. ^ Anson, Jane (2011-11-03). "Bordeaux reclaims 'claret' name | Daily wine news - the latest breaking wine news from around the world | News". Retrieved 2012-10-23.
    6. ^ Johnson, Hugh (1994). World Atlas of Wine (4th ed.). London: Octopus Publishing Group Ltd. p. 13.
    7. "Official Bordeaux website". 2007-04-18.
    8. ^ Johnson, Hugh (1994). World Atlas of Wine (4th ed.). London: Octopus Publishing Group Ltd. p. 88.
    9. ^ K. MacNeil The Wine Bible pg 118 Workman Publishing 2001 ISBN 1-56305-434-5
    10. ^ K. MacNeil The Wine Bible pg 120 Workman Publishing 2001 ISBN 1-56305-434-5
    11. ^ K. MacNeil The Wine Bible pg 122 Workman Publishing 2001 ISBN 1-56305-434-5
    12. ^ Stephen Brook, The Complete Bordeaux: The Wines, the Châteaux, the People p. 41. Octupus Publishing Group Ltd. 2007
    13. ^ Oz Clarke Encyclopedia of Grapes p. 129 Harcourt Books 2001 ISBN 0-15-100714-4
    14. ^ Brook, Stephen (2012). The Complete Bordeaux: The Wines - The Châteaux - The People (revised ed.). London: Octopus Publishing Group. pp. 36-55.
    15. ^ Brook, Stephen (2012). The Complete Bordeaux: The Wines - The Châteaux - The People (revised ed.). London: Octopus Publishing Group. pp. 56-74.
    16. ^ (CIVB): The 60 Appellations, read on May 28, 2010
    17. ^ Bordeaux & Bordeaux Supérieur Press Kit, 2011, CIVB Economie et Etudes Nov 16, 2010.
    18. ^ (CIVB): The 60 Appellations - Côtes de Bordeaux, read on May 28, 2010
    19. ^ (CIVB): The 60 Appellations - Saint-Emilion, Pomerol, Fronsac, read on May 28, 2010
    20. ^ (CIVB): The 60 Appellations - Médoc and Graves, read on May 28, 2010
    21. ^ (CIVB): The 60 Appellations - Dry white wines, read on May 28, 2010
    22. ^ (CIVB): The 60 Appellations - Dry white wines, read on May 28, 2010
    23. ^ Hugh Johnson, "The World Atlas of Wine"
    24. ^ J. Robinson (ed), "The Oxford Companion to Wine", Third Edition, p 175–177, Oxford University Press 2006, ISBN 0-19-860990-6
    25. ^ J. Robinson (ed), "The Oxford Companion to Wine", Third Edition, p 212–216, Oxford University Press 2006, ISBN 0-19-860990-6
    26. ^ Anson, Jane, Decanter (2007-07-10). "Cru Bourgeois classification officially over".
    27. ^ Anson, Jane, Decanter (2007-07-27). "Cru Bourgeois to rise again with new name".
    28. ^ Aarash Ghatineh,
    29. ^ B. Sanderson "A Master Class in Cabernet" pg 62 Wine Spectator May 15, 2007
    30. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-10-23


    Today's Snippet II:  Bordeaux, France

    Bordeaux (French pronunciation: [bɔʁ.do] ; Gascon: Bordèu; Basque: Bordele) is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.

    The city of Bordeaux, with a population of 239 157 inhabitants, is the 9th largest city in France. The Greater Bordeaux, called Communauté Urbaine de Bordeaux is the 5th largest urban area in France after Paris, Lyon, Lille and Marseille, with a population of 719 489 inhabitants. Its metropolitan area aire urbaine has a population of 1,114,000. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture of the Gironde department. Its inhabitants are called "Bordelais" (for men) or "Bordelaise" (for women).

    The city's nicknames are "La perle d'Aquitaine", "La Belle Endormie" (Sleeping Beauty) in reference to the old center which had black walls due to pollution. But today we can say that Bordeaux is awake. In fact, a part of the city, Le Port de La Lune, was almost completely renovated.

    Bordeaux is the world's major wine industry capital. It is home to the world's main wine fair, Vinexpo,[1] while the wine economy in the metro area moves 14.5 billion euros each year.[2] Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the 8th century. The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble" of the 18th century.[3]


    In historical times, around 300 BC it was the settlement of a Celtic tribe, the Bituriges Vivisci, who named the town Burdigala, probably of Aquitainian origin. The name Bourde is still the name of a river south of the city.  In 107 BC, the Battle of Burdigala was fought by the Romans who were defending the Allobroges, an allied Roman tribe, and the Tigurini led by Divico. The Romans were defeated and their commander, the consul Lucius Cassius Longinus was killed in the action.

    The city fell under Roman rule around 60 BC, its importance lying in the commerce of tin and lead towards Rome. Later it became capital of Roman Aquitaine, flourishing especially during the Severan dynasty (3rd century). In 276 it was sacked by the Vandals. Further ravage was brought by the same Vandals in 409, the Visigoths in 414 and the Franks in 498, beginning a period of obscurity for the city.

    In the late 6th century, the city re-emerged as the seat of a county and an archdiocese within the Merovingian kingdom of the Franks, but royal Frankish power was never strong. The city started to play a regional role as a major urban centre on the fringes of the newly founded Frankish Duchy of Vasconia. Circa 585, a certain Gallactorius is cited as count of Bordeaux and fighting the Basques.

    The city was plundered by the troops of Abd er Rahman in 732, after he had defeated Duke Eudes in the Battle of the River Garonne near Bordeaux and before the former was killed during the Battle of Tours on 10 October. After Duke Eudes's defeat, Aquitaine pledged allegiance formally to the new rising Carolingian dynasty, but still remained out of Frankish central rule until 768 (Duke Waifer defeated). In 736, the Aquitanian duke Hunald led a rebellion after his father Eudes's death, at which Charles responded by sending an expedition that captured and plundered Bordeaux again, while the Frankish commander didn't retain it for long, since he left south-east to wage war in Narbonnaise.

    In 778, Seguin (or Sihimin) was appointed count of Bordeaux, probably undermining the power of the Duke Lupo, and possibly leading to the Battle of Roncevaux Pass that very year. In 814, Seguin was made Duke of Vasconia, but he was deposed in 816 for failing to suppress or sympathise with a Basque rebellion. Under the Carolingians, sometimes the Counts of Bordeaux held the title concomitantly with that of Duke of Vasconia. They were meant to keep in check the Basques and defend the mouth of the Garonne from the Vikings when the latter appeared c. 844 in the region of Bordeaux. In Autumn 845, count Seguin II marched on the Vikings assaulting Bordeaux and Saintes but was captured and put to death. There are no bishops mentioned during the whole 8th century and part of the 9th in Bordeaux.

    From the 12th to the 15th century, Bordeaux regained importance following the marriage of Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine with the French-speaking Count Henri Plantagenet, born in Le Mans, who became, within months of their wedding, King Henry II of England. The city flourished, primarily due to wine trade, and the cathedral of St. André was built. It was also the capital of an independent state under Edward, the Black Prince (1362–1372), but in the end, after the Battle of Castillon (1453) it was annexed by France which extended its territory. The Château Trompette (Trumpet Castle) and the Fort du Hâ, built by Charles VII of France, were the symbols of the new domination, which however deprived the city of its richness by halting the wine commerce with England.

    In 1462, Bordeaux obtained a parliament, but regained importance only in the 16th century when it became the center of the distribution of sugar and slaves from the West Indies along with the traditional wine.

    Bordeaux adhered to the Fronde, being effectively annexed to the Kingdom of France only in 1653, when the army of Louis XIV entered the city.

    The 18th century was the golden age of Bordeaux. Many downtown buildings (about 5,000), including those on the quays, are from this period. Victor Hugo found the town so beautiful he once said: "take Versailles, add Antwerp, and you have Bordeaux". Baron Haussmann, a long-time prefect of Bordeaux, used Bordeaux's 18th century big-scale rebuilding as a model when he was asked by Emperor Napoleon III to transform a then still quasi-medieval Paris into a "modern" capital that would make France proud.

    In 1870, at the beginning of the Franco-Prussian war against Prussia, the French government relocated to Bordeaux from Paris. This happened again during the First World War and again very briefly during the Second World War, when it became clear that Paris would soon fall into German hands. However, on the last of these occasions the French capital was soon moved again to Vichy.
    From 1940 to 1943, the Italian Royal Navy (Regia Marina Italiana) established BETASOM, a submarine base at Bordeaux. Italian submarines participated in the Battle of the Atlantic from this base which was also a major base for German U-boats as headquarters of 12th U-boat Flotilla. The massive, reinforced concrete U-boat pens have proved impractical to demolish and are now partly used as a cultural centre for exhibitions.



    Bordeaux has about 116,160 hectares (287,000 acres) of vineyards, 57 appellations, 10,000 wine-producing châteaux and 13,000 grape growers. With an annual production of approximately 960 million bottles, Bordeaux produces large quantities of everyday wine as well as some of the most expensive wines in the world. Included among the latter are the area's five premier cru (first growth) red wines (four from Médoc and one, Château Haut-Brion, from Graves), established by the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855: The first growths are:
    • Château Lafite-Rothschild
    • Château Margaux
    • Château Latour
    • Château Haut-Brion
    • Château Mouton-Rothschild*
    *In 1855 Mouton-Rothschild was ranked a Second Growth. In 1973, it was elevated to First Growth status.
    Both red and white wines are made in Bordeaux. Red Bordeaux is called claret in the United Kingdom. Red wines are generally made from a blend of grapes, and may be made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit verdot, Malbec, and, less commonly in recent years, Carménère. White Bordeaux is made from Sauvignon blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle. Sauternes is a subregion of Graves known for its intensely sweet, white, dessert wines such as Château d'Yquem.
    Because of a wine glut (wine lake) in the generic production, the price squeeze induced by an increasingly strong international competition, and vine pull schemes, the number of growers has recently dropped from 14,000 and the area under vine has also decreased significantly. In the meanwhile however, the global demand for the first growths and the most famous labels markedly increased and their prices skyrocketed.

    Main sights

    Place de la Bourse
    The church of St Pierre
    Façade of the Church of the Holy Cross
    Grand Théâtre
    Place de la Bourse at night with the Miroir d'eau and tram
    Church of Notre Dame
    Bordeaux is classified "City of Art and History". The city is home to 362 monuments historiques (only Paris has more in France) with some buildings dating back to roman times. Bordeaux has been inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble".
    Bordeaux is home to one of Europe's biggest 18th century architectural urban areas, making it a sought-after destination for tourists and cinema production crews. It stands out as one of the first French cities, after Nancy, to have entered an era of urbanism and metropolitan big scale projects, with the team Gabriel father and son, architects for King Louis XV, under the supervision of two intendants (Governors), first Nicolas-François Dupré de Saint-Maur then the Marquis (Marquess) de Tourny.


    Main sights include:
    • Esplanade des Quinconces, the largest rectangle in Europe.
    • Colonnes des Girondins
    • Grand Théâtre, a large neoclassical theater built in the 18th century.
    • Allées de Tourny
    • Cours de l'Intendance
    • Place du Chapelet
    • Place de la Bourse(1730–1775), designed by the Royal architect Jacques Ange Gabriel as landscape for an equestrian statue of Louis XV.
    • Place du Parlement
    • Place Saint-Pierre
    • Pont de pierre
    • Saint-André Cathedral, consecrated by Pope Urban II in 1096. Of the Original Romanesque edifice only a wall in the nave remain. The Royal Gate is from the early 13th century, while the rest of the construction is mostly from the 14th–15th centuries.
    • Tour Pey-Berland (1440–1450), a massive, quadrangular gothic tower annexed to the cathedral.
    • Église Sainte-Croix (Church of the Holy Cross). It lies on the site of a 7th century abbey destroyed by the Saracens. Rebuilt under the Carolingians, it was again destroyed by the Normans in 845 and 864. It is annexed to a Benedictine abbey founded in the 7th century, and was built in the late 11th-early 12th centuries. The façade is in Romanesque style
    • The gothic Basilica of Saint Michael, constructed in the late 14th–15th centuries.
    • Basilica of Saint-Seurin, the most ancient church in Bordeaux. It was built in the early 6th century on the site of a palaeochristian necropolis. It has an 11th century portico, while the apse and transept are from the following century. The 13th century nave has chapels from the 11th and the 14th centuries. The ancient crypt houses sepulchres of the Merovingian family.
    • Église Saint-Pierre, gothic church
    • Église Saint-Éloi, gothic church
    • Église Saint-Bruno, baroque church decorated with frescoes
    • Église Notre-Dame, baroque church
    • Église Saint-Paul-Saint-François-Xavier, baroque church
    • Palais Rohan (Exterior:[11])
    • Palais Gallien, the remains of a late 2nd century Roman amphitheatre
    • Porte Cailhau, a medieval gate of the old city walls.
    • La Grosse Cloche (15th century), the second remaining gate of the Medieval walls. It was the belfry of the old Town Hall. It consists of two 40 m-high circular towers and a central bell tower housing a bell weighing 7,800 kilograms (17,000 lb). The watch is from 1759.
    • Rue Sainte-Catherine, the longest Pedestrian street of France
    • The BETASOM submarine base
    Saint-André Cathedral, Saint-Michel Basilica and Saint-Seurin Basilica are part of the World Heritage Sites of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France.

    Contemporary architecture

    • Fire Station, la Benauge, Claude Ferret/Adrien Courtois/Yves Salier, 1951–1954
    • Court of first instance, Richard Rogers, 1998
    • CTBA, wood and furniture research centre, A. Loisier, 1998
    • Hangar 14 on the Quai des Chartrons, 1999
    • The Management Science faculty on the Bastide, Anne Lacaton/Jean-Philippe Vassal, 2006
    • The Jardin botanique de la Bastide, Catherine Mosbach/Françoise Hélène Jourda/Pascal Convert, 2007
    • The Nuyens School complex on the Bastide, Yves Ballot/Nathalie Franck, 2007
    • Seeko'o Hotel on the Quai des Chartrons, King Kong architects, 2007


    • Musée des Beaux Arts (Fine arts museum), one of the finest painting galleries in France with paintings by painter such as Tiziano, Veronese, Rubens, Van Dyck, Frans Hals, Claude, Chardin, Delacroix, Renoir, Seurat, Matisse and Picasso.
    • Musée d'Aquitaine (archeological and history museum)
    • Musée du Vin et du Négoce (museum of the wine trade)
    • Musée des Arts Décoratifs (museum of decorative arts)
    • Musée d'Histoire Naturelle (natural history museum)
    • Centre d'arts plastiques contemporains (CAPC) (contemporary art museum)
    • Musée National des Douanes
    • Vinorama
    • Musée Goupil
    • Casa de Goya
    • Cap Sciences
    • Centre Jean Moulin

    Parks and gardens

    • Jardin botanique de Bordeaux
    • Jardin botanique de la Bastide
    • La Maison des Chameaux (Camel Park)
    "Le Jardin Publique" is a park in the heart of the city.


      • "Bordeaux", A Handbook for Travellers in France, London: John Murray, 1861
      • "Bordeaux", The Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th ed.), New York: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910, OCLC 14782424 
      • "Bordeaux", Southern France, including Corsica (6th ed.), Leipzig: Baedeker, 1914


        Catechism of the Catholic Church

        Part One: Profession of Faith, Sect 2 The Creeds, Chapter 1:1



        198 Our profession of faith begins with God, for God is the First and the Last,Cf. Is 44:6 The beginning and the end of everything. the Credo begins with God the Father, for the Father is the first divine person of the Most Holy Trinity; our Creed begins with the creation of heaven and earth, for creation is the beginning and the foundation of all God's works.

        Article 1


        Paragraph 1. I BELIEVE IN GOD
        199 "I believe in God": this first affirmation of the Apostles' Creed is also the most fundamental. the whole Creed speaks of God, and when it also speaks of man and of the world it does so in relation to God. the other articles of the Creed all depend on the first, just as the remaining Commandments make the first explicit. the other articles help us to know God better as he revealed himself progressively to men. "The faithful first profess their belief in God." Roman Catechism I, 2, 2

        200 These are the words with which the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed begins. the confession of God's oneness, which has its roots in the divine revelation of the Old Covenant, is inseparable from the profession of God's existence and is equally fundamental. God is unique; there is only one God: "The Christian faith confesses that God is one in nature, substance and essence."Roman Catechism I, 2, 2

        201 To Israel, his chosen, God revealed himself as the only One: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might."Dt 6:45 Through the prophets, God calls Israel and all nations to turn to him, the one and only God: "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.. . To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 'Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength.'"Is 45:22-24; cf. Phil 2:10-11

        202 Jesus himself affirms that God is "the one Lord" whom you must love "with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength".Mk 12:29-30 At the same time Jesus gives us to understand that he himself is "the Lord". Mk 12:35-37 To confess that Jesus is Lord is distinctive of Christian faith. This is not contrary to belief in the One God. Nor does believing in the Holy Spirit as "Lord and giver of life" introduce any division into the One God:
        We firmly believe and confess without reservation that there is only one true God, eternal infinite (immensus) and unchangeable, incomprehensible, almighty and ineffable, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; three persons indeed, but one essence, substance or nature entirely simple.

        203 God revealed himself to his people Israel by making his name known to them. A name expresses a person's essence and identity and the meaning of this person's life. God has a name; he is not an anonymous force. To disclose one's name is to make oneself known to others; in a way it is to hand oneself over by becoming accessible, capable of being known more intimately and addressed personally.

        204 God revealed himself progressively and under different names to his people, but the revelation that proved to be the fundamental one for both the Old and the New Covenants was the revelation of the divine name to Moses in the theophany of the burning bush, on the threshold of the Exodus and of the covenant on Sinai.

        The living God
        205 God calls Moses from the midst of a bush that bums without being consumed: "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."EX 3:6 God is the God of the fathers, the One who had called and guided the patriarchs in their wanderings. He is the faithful and compassionate God who remembers them and his promises; he comes to free their descendants from slavery. He is the God who, from beyond space and time, can do this and wills to do it, the God who will put his almighty power to work for this plan.

        "I Am who I Am"
        Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you', and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." and he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you'. . . this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations."EX 3:13-15

        206 In revealing his mysterious name, YHWH ("I AM HE WHO IS", "I AM WHO AM" or "I AM WHO I AM"), God says who he is and by what name he is to be called. This divine name is mysterious just as God is mystery. It is at once a name revealed and something like the refusal of a name, and hence it better expresses God as what he is - infinitely above everything that we can understand or say: he is the "hidden God", his name is ineffable, and he is the God who makes himself close to men.Is 45:15; Judg 13:18

        207 By revealing his name God at the same time reveals his faithfulness which is from everlasting to everlasting, valid for the past ("I am the God of your father"), as for the future ("I will be with you").EX 3:6, 12 God, who reveals his name as "I AM", reveals himself as the God who is always there, present to his people in order to save them.

        208 Faced with God's fascinating and mysterious presence, man discovers his own insignificance. Before the burning bush, Moses takes off his sandals and veils his face in the presence of God's holiness.EX 3:5-6 Before the glory of the thrice-holy God, Isaiah cries out: "Woe is me! I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips."Is 6:5 Before the divine signs wrought by Jesus, Peter exclaims: "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord."Lk 5:8 But because God is holy, he can forgive the man who realizes that he is a sinner before him: "I will not execute my fierce anger. . . for I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst." Hos 11:9 The apostle John says likewise: "We shall. . . reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything."I Jn 3:19-20

        209 Out of respect for the holiness of God, the people of Israel do not pronounce his name. In the reading of Sacred Scripture, the revealed name (YHWH) is replaced by the divine title "LORD" (in Hebrew Adonai, in Greek Kyrios). It is under this title that the divinity of Jesus will be acclaimed: "Jesus is LORD."

        "A God merciful and gracious"
        210 After Israel's sin, when the people had turned away from God to worship the golden calf, God hears Moses' prayer of intercession and agrees to walk in the midst of an unfaithful people, thus demonstrating his love.Ex 32; 33: 12-17 When Moses asks to see his glory, God responds "I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you my name "the LORD" [YHWH]."Ex 33:18-19Then the LORD passes before Moses and proclaims, "YHWH, YHWH, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness"; Moses then confesses that the LORD is a forgiving God.Ex 34:5-6; cf. 34:9

        211 The divine name, "I Am" or "He Is", expresses God's faithfulness: despite the faithlessness of men's sin and the punishment it deserves, he keeps "steadfast love for thousands".Ex 34:7 By going so far as to give up his own Son for us, God reveals that he is "rich in mercy".Eph 2:4 By giving his life to free us from sin, Jesus reveals that he himself bears the divine name: "When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will realize that "I AM"."Jn 8:28 (Greek)

        God alone IS
        212 Over the centuries, Israel's faith was able to manifest and deepen realization of the riches contained in the revelation of the divine name. God is unique; there are no other gods besides him.Is 44:64
        He transcends the world and history. He made heaven and earth: "They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment....but you are the same, and your years have no end."Ps 102:26-27
        In God "there is no variation or shadow due to change."Jas 1:17 God is "HE WHO IS", from everlasting to everlasting, and as such remains ever faithful to himself and to his promises.

        213 The revelation of the ineffable name "I AM WHO AM" contains then the truth that God alone IS. the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, and following it the Church's Tradition, understood the divine name in this sense: God is the fullness of Being and of every perfection, without origin and without end. All creatures receive all that they are and have from him; but he alone is his very being, and he is of himself everything that he is.

        214 God, "HE WHO IS", revealed himself to Israel as the one "abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness".Ex 34:6 These two terms express summarily the riches of the divine name. In all his works God displays, not only his kindness, goodness, grace and steadfast love, but also his trustworthiness, constancy, faithfulness and truth. "I give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness."Ps 138:2; cf. Ps 85:11 He is the Truth, for "God is light and in him there is no darkness"; "God is love", as the apostle John teaches.I Jn 1:5; 4:8

        God is Truth
        215 "The sum of your word is truth; and every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever."Ps 119:160 "and now, O LORD God, you are God, and your words are true";2 Sam 7:28 this is why God's promises always come true. Dt 7:9 God is Truth itself, whose words cannot deceive. This is why one can abandon oneself in full trust to the truth and faithfulness of his word in all things. the beginning of sin and of man's fall was due to a lie of the tempter who induced doubt of God's word, kindness and faithfulness.

        216 God's truth is his wisdom, which commands the whole created order and governs the world.Wis 13:1-9 God, who alone made heaven and earth, can alone impart true knowledge of every created thing in relation to himself.Ps 115:15; Wis 7:17-214

        217 God is also truthful when he reveals himself - the teaching that comes from God is "true instruction".Mal 2:6 When he sends his Son into the world it will be "to bear witness to the truth":Jn 18:37 "We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true."Jn 5:20; cf. Jn 17:3

        God is Love
        218 In the course of its history, Israel was able to discover that God had only one reason to reveal himself to them, a single motive for choosing them from among all peoples as his special possession: his sheer gratuitous love. Dt 4:37; 7:8; 10:15 and thanks to the prophets Israel understood that it was again out of love that God never stopped saving them and pardoning their unfaithfulness and sins.Cf. Is 43:1-7; Hos 2

        219 God's love for Israel is compared to a father's love for his son. His love for his people is stronger than a mother's for her children. God loves his people more than a bridegroom his beloved; his love will be victorious over even the worst infidelities and will extend to his most precious gift: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son."Jn 3:16

        220 God's love is "everlasting":Is 54:8 "For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you."Is 54: 10 Through Jeremiah, God declares to his people, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.Jer 31:3

        221 But St. John goes even further when he affirms that "God is love":Jn 4:8, 16
        God's very being is love. By sending his only Son and the Spirit of Love in the fullness of time, God has revealed his innermost secret:I Cor 2:7-16; Eph 3:9-12 God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange.

        222 Believing in God, the only One, and loving him with all our being has enormous consequences for our whole life.

        223 It means coming to know God's greatness and majesty: "Behold, God is great, and we know him not."Job 36:26 Therefore, we must "serve God first".St. Joan of Arc

        224 It means living in thanksgiving: if God is the only One, everything we are and have comes from him: "What have you that you did not receive?"I Cor 4:7 "What shall I render to the LORD for all his bounty to me?"Ps 116:12

        225 It means knowing the unity and true dignity of all men: everyone is made in the image and likeness of God.Gen 1:26

        226 It means making good use of created things: faith in God, the only One, leads us to use everything that is not God only insofar as it brings us closer to him, and to detach ourselves from it insofar as it turns us away from him:
        My Lord and my God, take from me everything that distances me from you.
        My Lord and my God, give me everything that brings me closer to you
        My Lord and my God, detach me from myself to give my all to you.St. Nicholas of Flue; cf. Mt 5:29-30; 16:24-26

        227 It means trusting God in every circumstance, even in adversity. A prayer of St. Teresa of Jesus wonderfully expresses this trust:
        Let nothing trouble you / Let nothing frighten you Everything passes / God never changes Patience / Obtains all Whoever has God / Wants for nothing God alone is enough.St. Teresa of Jesus, Poesias 30 in the Collected Works of St. Teresa oF  Avila, vol. III, tr. K. Kavanaugh OCD and O. Rodriguez OCD (Washington DC Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1985), 386 no. 9. tr. John Wal

        IN BRIEF
        228 "Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD..." ( Dt 6:4; Mk 12:29). "The supreme being must be unique, without equal. . . If God is not one, he is not God" (Tertullian, Adv. Marc., 1, 3, 5: PL 2, 274).

        229 Faith in God leads us to turn to him alone as our first origin and our ultimate goal, and neither to prefer anything to him nor to substitute anything for him.

        230 Even when he reveals himself, God remains a mystery beyond words: "If you understood him, it would not be God" (St. Augustine, Sermo 52, 6, 16: PL 38, 360 and Sermo 117, 3, 5: PL 38, 663).

        231 The God of our faith has revealed himself as HE WHO IS; and he has made himself known as "abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness" ( Ex 34:6). God's very being is Truth and Love.