Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Obstinate, Exodus 32:7-14, Psalms 106:19-23, John 5:31-47, Pope Francis Daily Activities, St Mathilda, Pauline Chapel, Quesdlinburg Abbey, Catholic Catechism Part One Section 2 The Creeds Chapter 3:11:1 Christ's Resurrection and Ours

Thursday, March 14, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Obstinate, Exodus 32:7-14, Psalms 106:19-23, John 5:31-47, Pope Francis Daily Activities, St Mathilda, Pauline Chapel, Quesdlinburg Abbey, Catholic Catechism Part One Section 2 The Creeds Chapter 3:11:1  Christ's Resurrection and Ours

Good Day Bloggers!  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


Prayers for Today: Thursday in Lent


Habemus Papam Franciscus
(We Have Pope Francis)

First Public Appearance  - Veneration to our Blessed Mother Mary

Vatican City, 14 March 2013 (VIS) – It was no secret. Like one who has no cares that everyone knows what he intended to do, at 8:24pm last night in his first public appearance he stated: “Tomorrow I am going to pray to the Virgin, for the safekeeping of all of Rome.” Then at 8:05 this morning, leaving the Vatican for the first time as pontiff, the newly elected Pope took one of the Gendarmerie's simple service cars to the papal basilica of St. Mary Major, the oldest and largest church dedicated to the Virgin in Rome. It is also one of the four largest in Rome and claims the King of Spain as its proto-canon. The new pontiff of the Catholic Church chose to enter through one of the basilica's side doors.

Upon entering the basilica the Pope headed toward the venerated icon of Our Lady “Salus Populi Romani" (Protectress of the Roman People) accompanied by, among others, Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, archpriest of the basilica and Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of the Diocese of Rome.

The Holy Father, after leaving the Virgin a bouquet of flowers on the altar, prayed silently for about 10 minutes before the main altar that is directly above the crypt containing relics of the crib or manger of the Nativity of Jesus. He also visited the basilica's Sistine Chapel, which is where St. Ignatius of Loyola celebrated his first Mass after being ordained a priest. He waited several months, until Christmas Eve 1538, to say his first Mass. “It is a very significant place in Jesuit spirituality,” Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, noted. Finally, the new Roman Pontiff also stopped to pray before the tomb of St. Pius V, which is also in that chapel.

Pope Francis also greeted the basilica's chapter of canons, confessors, and priests as well as all the personnel that work there and the faithful and journalists that he met along the way.

The Holy Father left as he had arrived, with a minimal escort and entourage. He was accompanied by Archbishop Georg Ganswein and Msgr. Leonardo Sapienza, S.C.I., respectively prefect and regent of the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household. Along the way, however, he surprised everyone by first sending an affectionate greeting to children from a nearby school and then by asking his driver to stop by the Domus Internationalis “Paulus VI” near Piazza Navona where he had stayed before entering the Conclave. The Pope greeted those working there, gathered his belongings, and paid his bill.

The Holy Father's first liturgical celebration will be with the cardinals who participated in the Conclave at 5:00pm this afternoon. They will concelebrate the “For the Church” Mass in Latin, with the readings in Italian. As the Vatican spokesman commented, “the Pope's homily will probably be in Italian”. General information regarding the readings and prayers can be found at the Office for Liturgical Celebrations page of the Vatican website.

After that Mass, the Holy Father will go to the apartment prepared for him at the Domus Sanctae Marthae though, as Fr. Lombardi reported, “he will only be there a short time as the Pope is expected to move quickly into the Vatican apartments, which are now almost ready for him.”

The director of the Holy See Press Office commented on the Pope's first public appearance yesterday evening, greeting the crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square. He noted a few significant gestures that characterized the simplicity and serenity of that encounter, beginning with the Pope's request that the faith pray for him and his choice of vestments. “The new Pope wore neither the red “mozzetta” (the elbow-length cape worn by high-ranking prelates) nor a stole and his pectoral cross was the same simple one that he has worn as bishop and Cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The choice of his name Francis, after St. Francis of Assisi, strongly recalls the saint's evangelical spirituality and radical poverty. His papal name is simply 'Francis', not 'Francis I', since he is the first pontiff to bear that name. If after him another pontiff chooses that name then he will be 'Francis I'.”

Another gesture made by the new Pope, Fr. Lombardi continued, was that yesterday in the Sistine Chapel, when his cardinal brothers paid him homage, instead of sitting on the papal throne, he stood as he received them. Then, instead of taking the papal car that had been prepared for him to return to the Domus Sanctae Marthae, he took the same minibus he had arrived in along with the other cardinals. He briefly addressed the cardinals at the festive supper, after thanking them, saying “may God forgive you [for what you have done]”.

The director of the Holy See Press Office also answered a question regarding the renewal of the heads of the curial offices in their positions. “It is traditional that in the first days of his pontificate that the new Pope confirms those appointments. In the past few times they were confirmed “until further notice” in the first days of the pontificate as customary and then, at a later moment, little by little the Popes chose their close collaborators with complete freedom. This is a very personal act of government that falls solely to the Pope.”

Regarding the security problems that could arise from the more “informal” style of the new Pope, Fr. Lombardi pointed out that “those responsible for the security of the pontiff are at his service and adapt their methods to protect each Pope in their personal style. John Paul II, for example, was a pontiff who broke with all expectations and went to greet people without any prior warning. Those entrusted with the Pope's security adjust their methods to protect each in their own way.”

Finally, speaking of Pope Francis' health, Fr. Lombardi confirmed the report that, when he was young, some 40 years ago, he had a pulmonary illness and part of one lung was removed but that “this has never been an obstacle either in his rhythm or for his work, his life, or his pastoral care, as demonstrated by leading a diocese that requires such dedication as that of Buenos Aires.”


  • Vatican News Archive. 3/14/3013.


March 2, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
“Dear children; Anew, in a motherly way, I am calling you not to be of a hard heart. Do not shut your eyes to the warnings which the Heavenly Father sends to you out of love. Do you love Him above all else? Do you repent for having often forgotten that the Heavenly Father, out of His great love, sent His Son to redeem us by the Cross? Do you repent for not having accepted the message? My children, do not resist the love of my Son. Do not resist hope and peace. Along with your prayers and fasting, by His Cross, my Son will cast away the darkness that wants to surround you and come to rule over you. He will give you the strength for a new life. Living it according to my Son, you will be a blessing and a hope to all those sinners who wander in the darkness of sin. My children, keep vigil. I, as a mother, am keeping vigil with you. I am especially praying and watching over those whom my Son called to be light-bearers and carriers of hope for you – for your shepherds. Thank you.”

February 25, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
“Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. Sin is pulling you towards worldly things and I have come to lead you towards holiness and the things of God, but you are struggling and spending your energies in the battle with the good and the evil that are in you. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray until prayer becomes a joy for you and your life will become a simple walk towards God. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

 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."



Today's Word:  obstinate  ob·sti·nate  [ob-stuh-nit]

Origin: 1350–1400; Middle English  < Latin obstinātus  (past participle of obstināre  to set one's mind on, be determined), equivalent to ob- ob- + -stin-,  combining form of stan-  (derivative of stāre  to stand) + -ātus -ate1
1. firmly or stubbornly adhering to one's purpose, opinion, etc.; not yielding to argument, persuasion, or entreaty.
2. characterized by inflexible persistence or an unyielding attitude; inflexibly persisted in or carried out: obstinate advocacy of high tariffs.
3. not easily controlled or overcome: the obstinate growth of weeds.
4. not yielding readily to treatment, as a disease.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 106:19-23

19 At Horeb they made a calf, bowed low before cast metal;
20 they exchanged their glory for the image of a grass-eating bull.
21 They forgot the God who was saving them, who had done great deeds in Egypt,
22 such wonders in the land of Ham, such awesome deeds at the Sea of Reeds.
23 He thought of putting an end to them, had not Moses, his chosen one, taken a stand in the breach and confronted him, to turn his anger away from destroying them.


Today's Epistle -  Exodus 32:7-14

7 Yahweh then said to Moses, 'Go down at once, for your people whom you brought here from Egypt have become corrupt.
8 They have quickly left the way which I ordered them to follow. They have cast themselves a metal calf, worshiped it and offered sacrifice to it, shouting, "Israel, here is your God who brought you here from Egypt!" '
9 Yahweh then said to Moses, 'I know these people; I know how obstinate they are!
10 So leave me now, so that my anger can blaze at them and I can put an end to them! I shall make a great nation out of you instead.'
11 Moses tried to pacify Yahweh his God. 'Yahweh,' he said, 'why should your anger blaze at your people, whom you have brought out of Egypt by your great power and mighty hand?
12 Why should the Egyptians say, "He brought them out with evil intention, to slaughter them in the mountains and wipe them off the face of the earth?" Give up your burning wrath; relent over this disaster intended for your people.
13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to whom you swore by your very self and made this promise: "I shall make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven, and this whole country of which I have spoken, I shall give to your descendants, and it will be their heritage for ever."
14 Yahweh then relented over the disaster which he had intended to inflict on his people.


Today's Gospel Reading - John 5:31-47

Jesus said to the Jews: "Were I to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be true; but there is another witness who speaks on my behalf, and I know that his testimony is true. You sent messengers to John, and he gave his testimony to the truth- not that I depend on human testimony; no, it is for your salvation that I mention it. John was a lamp lit and shining and for a time you were content to enjoy the light that he gave. But my testimony is greater than John's: the deeds my Father has given me to perform, these same deeds of mine testify that the Father has sent me. Besides, the Father who sent me bears witness to me himself. You have never heard his voice, you have never seen his shape, and his word finds no home in you because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent. You pore over the scriptures, believing that in them you can find eternal life; it is these scriptures that testify to me, and yet you refuse to come to me to receive life! Human glory means nothing to me. Besides, I know you too well: you have no love of God in you. I have come in the name of my Father and you refuse to accept me; if someone else should come in his own name you would accept him. How can you believe, since you look to each other for glory and are not concerned with the glory that comes from the one God? Do not imagine that I am going to accuse you before the Father: you have placed your hopes on Moses, and Moses will be the one who accuses you. If you really believed him you would believe me too, since it was about me that he was writing; but if you will not believe what he wrote, how can you believe what I say?  

• John, interpreter of Jesus. John is a good interpreter of the words of Jesus. A good interpreter has to have a two-fold fidelity. Fidelity to the words of the one who speaks, and fidelity to the language of the one who listens. In John’s Gospel, the words of Jesus are not transmitted materially, literally; rather they are translated and transferred to the language of the people of the Christian communities of the first century in Asia Minor. For this reason, the reflections of the Gospel of John are not always easy to understand. Because in them are mixed the words of God and the words of the Evangelist himself who mirrors the language of faith of the communities of Asia Minor. The scholarly or scientific study of Jesus is not sufficient for this. It is also necessary that we have the lived experience of faith in the community. Today’s Gospel is a typical example of the spiritual and mystical depth of the Gospel of the Beloved Disciple.

• Reciprocal enlightenment between life and faith. Here it is well to repeat what John Cassian says regarding the discovery of the full and profound sense of the Psalms: “Instructed by that which we ourselves feel, let us not consider the text as something which we have only heard, but rather like something which we have experienced and which we touch with our hands; not like a strange and unheard of story, but rather like something that we bring out to light from the deepest part of our heart, as if these were sentiments which form part of our being. Let us repeat them; it is not the reading (the study) what makes us penetrate into the sense or meaning of the words, but rather our own experience which has previously been acquired in the life of every day”. (Collationes X, 11). Life enlightens the text, the text enlightens life. If, at times, the text says nothing, it is not because of lack of study or because of lack of prayer, but simply because of lack of depth in one’s own life.

• John 31-32: The value of the witness of Jesus. The witness of Jesus is true because he does not promote or exalt himself. “There is another witness who speaks on my behalf”, that is the Father. And his witness is true and deserves to be believed.

• John 5, 33-36: The value of the witness of John the Baptist and of the works of Jesus. John the Baptist also gave witness of Jesus and presents him to the people as the one sent by God who has to come to this world (cf. Jn 1, 29.33-34; 3, 28-34). For this reason, even if the witness of John the Baptist is very important, Jesus does not depend on him. He has a witness in his favour who is greater than the witness of John, and that is, the works which the Father carries out through him (Jn 14, 10-11).

• John 5, 37-38: The Father bears witness of Jesus. Previously, Jesus had said: “Whoever is from God listens to the words of God” (Jn 8, 47). The Jews who accused Jesus did not have a mind open to God. And for this reason, they do not succeed to perceive the witness of the Father which reaches them through Jesus.
• John 5, 39-41: Scripture itself gives testimony of Jesus. The Jews say that they have faith in the Scriptures, but in reality, they do not understand Scripture, because the Scripture speaks of Jesus (cf. Jn 5, 46; 12, 16.41; 20, 9).

• John 5, 42-47: The Father does not judge but entrusts his judgment to the Son. The Jews say that they are faithful to the Scripture of Moses and, because of this, they condemn Jesus. In reality, Moses and the Scripture speak about Jesus and ask to believe in him. 

Personal questions
• Life enlightens the text and the text enlightens life. Have you experienced this some times?
• Try to deepen the value of the testimony of Jesus

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint Mathilda

Feast DayMarch 14

Patron Saint:  death of children, disappointing children, falsely accused persons, large families, queens, second marriages, widows, 

Attributes:  alms ,bag of money, crown, orb, sceptre, satchel, holding a church

Saint Mathilda
Saint Mathilda (or Matilda) (c. 895 – 14 March 968) was the wife of King Henry I of Germany, the first ruler of the Saxon Ottonian (or Liudolfing) dynasty, thereby Duchess consort of Saxony from 912 and German Queen from 919 until 936. Their eldest son Otto succeeded his father as German King and was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 962. Matilda's surname refers to Ringelheim, where her comital Immedinger relatives established a convent about 940.


The details of Saint Matilda's life come largely from brief mentions in the Res gestae saxonicae of the monastic historian Widukind of Corvey (c. 925 – 973), and from two sacred biographies (the vita antiquior and vita posterior) written, respectively, circa 974 and circa 1003.

St. Mathilda was the daughter of the Westphalian count Dietrich and his wife Reinhild, and her biographers traced her ancestry back to the legendary Saxon leader Widukind (c. 730 – 807). One of her sisters married Count Wichmann the Elder, a member of the House of Billung.

As a young girl, she was sent to the convent of Herford, where her grandmother Matilda was abbess and where her reputation for beauty and virtue (probably also her Westphalian dowry) is said to have attracted the attention of Duke Otto I of Saxony, who betrothed her to his recently divorced son and heir, Henry the Fowler. They were married at Wallhausen in 909. As the eldest surviving son, Henry succeeded his father as Saxon duke in 912 and upon the death of King Conrad I of Germany was elected King of Germany (East Francia) in 919. He and Matilda had three sons and two daughters:
  1. Hedwig (910 – 965), wife of the West Frankish duke Hugh the Great, mother of King Hugh Capet of France
  2. Otto (912 – 973), Duke of Saxony, King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor
  3. Gerberga (913 – 984), wife of (1) Duke Giselbert of Lorraine and (2) King Louis IV of France
  4. Henry (919/921 – 955) was Duke of Bavaria
  5. Bruno (925 – 965), Archbishop of Cologne and Duke of Lorraine

After her husband had died in 936, Matilda and her son Otto established Quedlinburg Abbey in his memory, a convent of noble canonesses, where in 966 her granddaughter Matilda became the first abbess. At first she remained at the court of her son Otto, however in the quarrels between the young king and his rivaling brother Henry a cabal of royal advisors is reported to have accused her of weakening the royal treasury in order to pay for her charitable activities. After a brief exile at her Westphalian manors at Enger, where she established a college of canons in 947, Matilda was brought back to court at the urging of King Otto's first wife, the Anglo-Saxon princess Edith of Wessex.

Matilda died at Quedlinburg, outliving her husband by 32 years. Her and Henry's mortal remains are buried at the crypt of the St. Servatius' abbey church.


Saint Matilda was celebrated for her devotion to prayer and almsgiving; her first biographer depicted her (in a passage indebted to the sixth-century vita of the Frankish queen Radegund by Venantius Fortunatus) leaving her husband's side in the middle of the night and sneaking off to church to pray. St. Mathilda founded many religious institutions, including the canonry of Quedlinburg, which became a center of ecclesiastical and secular life in Germany under the rule of the Ottonian dynasty, as well as the convents of St. Wigbert in Quedlinburg, in Pöhlde, Enger and Nordhausen in Thuringia, likely the source of at least one of her vitae.

She was later canonized, with her cult largely confined to Saxony and Bavaria. St. Mathilda's feast day according to the German calendar of saints is on March 14.


Primary sources

  • Widukind, Res gestae Saxonicae, ed. Paul Hirsch and H.-E. Lohmann, Die Sachsengeschichte des Widukind von Korvei. MGH SS rer. Germ. in usum scholarum 60. Hanover, 1935. Available online from the Digital Monumenta Germaniae Historica
  • Vita Mathildis reginae antiquior (c. 974, written for her grandson Otto II), ed. Bernd Schütte. Die Lebensbeschreibungen der Königin Mathilde. MGH SS rer. Germ. in usum scholarum 66. Hanover, 1994. 107-142. Available from the Digital MGH; ed. Rudolf Koepke. MGH SS 10. 573-82; tr. in Sean Gilsdorf, Queenship and Sanctity, 71-87.
  • Vita Mathildis reginae posterior (c. 1003, written for her great-grandson Henry II), ed. Bernd Schütte. Die Lebensbeschreibungen der Königin Mathilde. MGH SS rer. Germ. in usum scholarum 66. Hanover, 1994. 143-202. Available from the Digital MGH; ed. Georg Pertz. MGH SS 4: 282-302; tr. in Sean Gilsdorf, Queenship and Sanctity, 88-127.

Secondary sources

  • Corbet, Patrick. Les saints ottoniens. Sainteté dynastique, sainteté royale et sainteté féminine autour de l'an mil. Thorbecke, 1986. Description (external link)
  • Gilsdorf, Sean. Queenship and Sanctity: The Lives of Mathilda and the Epitaph of Adelheid. Catholic University of America Press, 2004. Description (external link)
  • Glocker, Winfrid. Die Verwandten der Ottonen und ihre Bedeutung in der Politik. Böhlau Verlag, 1989. 7-18.
  • Schmid, Karl. "Die Nachfahren Widukinds," Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters 20 (1964): 1-47.
  • Schütte, Bernd . Untersuchungen zu den Lebensbeschreibungen der Königin Mathilde. MGH Studien und Texte 9. Hanover, 1994. ISBN 3-7752-5409-9.
  •  "St. Matilda". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.

Further reading

  • Schlenker, Gerlinde. Königin Mathilde, Gemahlin Heinrichs I (895/96-968). Aschersleben, 2001.
  • Stinehart, Anne C. "Renowned Queen Mother Mathilda:" Ideals and Realities of Ottonian Queenship in the Vitae Mathildis reginae (Mathilda of Saxony, 895?-968)." Essays in history 40 (1998). Available online


    Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane



    Today's Snippet I:  Cappella Paolina, Vatican

    Pauline Chapel, Vatican
    The Cappella Paolina (Pauline Chapel) is a chapel in the Vatican Palace, Rome. It is separated from the Sistine Chapel only by the Sala Regia.

    The chapel was commissioned in 1538 by the order of Pope Paul III and completed in 1540 under the design and supervision of Antonio da Sangallo the Younger.

     The Cappella Paolina served as both the Chapel of the Sacrament and the Chapel of the Conclave. Paul III dedicated the chapel to the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, a festival to which he displayed particular devotion.


    Cappella Paolina
    Detail of the Crucifixion of St. Peter by Michelangelo in the Cappella Paolina
    Given the ceremonial and personal significance of the chapel, it was to be expected that the Pope would require the services of a great artist for its decoration, and, in the opinion of both the Papacy and the people, there was no one greater than Michelangelo.[1]

    Even before the unveiling of Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, Paul III had already decided that Michelangelo, who desperately wanted to fulfill his contract with the della Rovere for the Tomb of Julius II, must paint the frescoes of the Cappella Paolina. This is shown by a letter dated October 12, 1541 from Cardinal Alexander, Paul III’s nephew, to Bishop Marco Vigerio which discusses the paintings to be carried out in the “New Chapel.”[2]

    Michelangelo’s two frescoes in the Cappella Paolina, The Conversion of Saul and The Crucifixion of St Peter were painted from 1542 to 1549, the height of his fame, but were widely viewed as disappointments and even failures by their contemporary audience. They did not conform to the compositional conventions of the time and the subject-matter is depicted in an unorthodox manner. Despite the importance of the chapel and the significance of their subjects, the frescoes were generally neglected and overlooked in favor of Michelangelo’s nearby masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel.[3]

    Other artworks

    Other paintings in the chapel are by Lorenzo Sabbatini and Federico Zuccari. The statues in the background are by P. Bresciano.

    Use by Papal conclave

    Before the opening of the conclave the Sacred College assembles in this chapel to attend a sermon in which the members are reminded of their obligation quickly to give to the Church her ablest son as ruler and guide. The cardinals then withdraw to the Sistine Chapel. In the Cappella Paolina are sung daily the conclave Solemn Masses "De Spiritu Sancto", at which all members of the conclave must be present.

    In 1549 and 1550, the Cappella Paolina was used for the papal conclave itself, the Sistine Chapel having been set aside and divided into 19 cells for use by infirm cardinals. The conclave elected Pope Julius III.


    In 2004, the Vatican announced plans to restore the frescoes in Cappella Paolina. Work was completed in 2009, revealing bright colors and hues that had been dulled by centuries of dirt and grime.

    Virtual reality presentation

    In 2010, the Vatican website released a virtual reality rendered version of the Cappella Paolina. It presents the chapel in part 3D rendering and part high-resolution photography, unquestionably made after the 2009 restoration.

    Other Cappelle Paoline

    Two other chapels with the same name are in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore and in the Quirinal Palace, both in Rome.


    1. ^ Leo Steinberg, Michelangelo’s Last Paintings: The Conversion of St. Paul and the Crucifixion of St. Peter in the Cappella Paolina, Vatican Palace (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975), 15-16.
    2. ^ D. Redig de Campos, Michelangelo: The Frescoes of the Pauline Chapel in the Vatican (Milan: Art Editions Amilcare Pizzi, 1951), 6.
    3. ^ Leo Steinberg, Michelangelo’s Last Paintings: The Conversion of St Paul and the Crucifixion of St. Peter in the Cappella Paolina, Vatican Palace (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975), 17.


    Today's Snippet II:  Quedlinburg Abbey

    Former collegiate church of St. Servatius in Quedlinburg, now a Lutheran church

    Quedlinburg Abbey (German: Stift Quedlinburg or Reichsstift Quedlinburg) was a house of secular canonesses (Frauenstift) in Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It was founded in 936 on the initiative of Saint Mathilda, the widow of Henry the Fowler, as his memorial.[1] For many centuries it enjoyed great prestige and influence.
    Quedlinburg Abbey was founded on the castle hill of Quedlinburg in the present Saxony-Anhalt in 936 by Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, at the request of his mother Queen Matilda, later canonised as Saint Matilda, in honour of her late husband, Otto's father, King Henry the Fowler, and as his memorial.[1] Henry was buried here, as was Matilda herself.[2]

    The "Kaiserlich freie weltliche Reichsstift Quedlinburg" ("Free secular Imperial abbey of Quedlinburg"), as its full style was until its dissolution in 1802, consisted of a proprietary church of the Imperial family to which was attached a college of secular canonesses (Stiftsdamen), a community of the unmarried daughters of the greater nobility and royalty leading a godly life.[3] The greatest and most prominent foundations of this sort were Essen Abbey, Gandersheim Abbey, Gernrode Abbey, Cologne Abbey and Herford Abbey, in the last of which the young Queen Matilda had been brought up by her grandmother, the abbess.

    Thanks to its Imperial connections the new foundation attracted rich endowments and was soon a wealthy and thriving community. Ecclesiastically, the abbess was exempt from the jurisdiction of her diocesan, the Bishop of Halberstadt, and subject to no superior except the Pope.[4] The bishops of Halberstadt were constantly engaged in dispute with the abbesses, as they claimed to have spiritual jurisdiction over the abbey in virtue of subjection of women to men. In her political relations, the abbess was a princess of the Holy Roman Empire, entitled to seat in the College of Princes and a vote at the Diets.[4]

    During the Reformation the abbey became Protestant, under Abbess Anna II (Countess of Stolberg). After the German Mediatisation of 1803 the abbey was taken over by the Kingdom of Prussia as the Principality of Quedlinburg. Between 1807 and 1813 it belonged to the short-lived Kingdom of Westphalia.


    The church of St. Servatius[5] is dedicated to Saint Servatius of Tongeren and Saint Denis and is a significant Romanesque building. Construction of the three-naved basilica on the remains of three predecessor buildings began sometime before 997 and finished in 1021. A fire in 1070 caused severe damage. The building was rebuilt in its previous form, and was rededicated in 1129 in the presence of Lothar III. The church contains the architectural feature known as the niedersächsischer Stützenwechsel.[6]



    In the first decades after the foundation the community was favoured by numerous gifts of land, particularly from the Imperial family. All later clearances (i.e., of previously uncultivated land) in the immediate vicinity were also theirs, but in addition they acquired far more distant possessions, such as Soltau, 170 kilometres away, given by Otto I in 936.

    Among other property the abbey also received the following:
    • In 956 the church of Saint Michael next to the cave of Volkmarskeller (near Blankenburg am Harz) was granted them by Otto I (later refounded by abbess Beatrix II as Michaelstein Abbey)
    • In 974 the locality of Duderstadt in south-eastern Lower Saxony was acquired, which the abbey owned for 262 years. The village of Breitenfeld bei Duderstadt belonged to the abbey until its dissolution.[7]
    • On 3 July 993 a deed of gift was executed by Emperor Otto III granting ownership of Potsdam, of which place this is the first documentary evidence. The deed marks a turning point in the struggle to win back territory east of the Elbe, from which the East Frankish lordship had been driven back by the Slav Uprising of 983.
    • In 999 the provincia of Gera came into the hands of the abbey. In 1209 the abbess appointed the Vögte of Weida as administrators of the territory.
    • The gifts of Emperor Otto I: 936, 25 estates; 937, two estates; 944, one estate; 946, two estates; 954, one estate; 956, 11 estates; 961, 7 estates.
    • The gifts of Emperor Otto II: 974, estates places; 979, one estate; 985, five estates.
    • The gifts of Emperor Otto III: 992, three estates; 993, two estates; 995, four estates; 999, one estate.
    • Later acquisitions totalled more than 150 estates.[8]


    The abbey also received numerous gifts of precious books, manuscripts and liturgical items, which were stored in the treasury. At the end of World War II a number of the most valuable items were looted by an American soldier, Joe Tom Meador (born 30 June 1916, died 1 February 1980), including the reliquary of Saint Servatius, from the time of Charles the Bald; the 9th century Samuhel Evangeliary (Samuhel Evangeliar); the printed St. Wipert's Evangeliary (Evangelistar aus St Wiperti) of 1513; and a liturgical ivory comb. The stolen items reappeared in 1987 and after much litigation were returned to the abbey in 1993.[9]


    The abbey is also known as the home of the "Annals of Quedlinburg" (Latin: Saxonicae Annales Quedlinburgenses, German: Quedlinburger Annalen), begun in 1008 and finished in 1030 in the abbey, quite possibly by a female writer. Quedlinburg was well suited for gathering information on current political affairs, given its connections to the Imperial family and the proximity of Magdeburg, an Imperial centre. The "Annals" are mostly concerned with the history of the Holy Roman Empire.[10]


    1. ^The "Later Life" of Queen Mathilda Page 99
    2. ^ The "Later Life" of Queen Mathilda Page 126
    3. ^ The term "secular" ("weltlich") refers to the fact that they took no formal religious vows and were bound to no monastic order. In the Middle Ages and the early modern period these Frauenstifte were important facilities for the care of unmarried and widowed noblewomen. The Stiftsdamen or "canonesses" were often learned, and skilled at artistic works
    4. ^ The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1911
    5. ^ sometimes in German called Quedlinburger Dom - Quedlinburg Cathedral, although it was never the seat of a bishop
    6. ^ "Lower Saxon support alternation", by which is meant that after every two columns is placed a pillar
    7. ^ cf. the deeds of grant in the digitised municipal archive of Duderstadt at: [1]
    8. ^ cf. the presentation by Manfred Mehl: Die Münzen des Stiftes Quedlinburg. Hamburg, 2006, pp. 42-49.
    9. ^ see Theft of medieval art from Quedlinburg
    10. ^ Thietmar, David Warner, 2001: Ottonian Germany, p.43


    Additional Reading

    • Kremer, Marita, 1924. Die Personal- und Amtsdaten der Äbtissinen des Stifts Quedlinburg bis zum Jahre 1574. Leipzig (= Phil. Diss. Univ. Leipzig 1924).
    • Wilberg, Max, 1906, repr. 1987. Regententabellen: Eine Zusammenstellung der Herrscher von Ländern aller Erdteile bis zum Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts. Original edition Frankfurt/Oder, reproduced in facsimile by Transpress VEB Verlag für Vehrkehrswesen, Berlin. ISBN 3-344-00094-2


    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part One: Profession of Faith, Sect 2 The Creeds, Ch 3:11:1


    Article 11

    I. Christ's Resurrection and Ours
    The progressive revelation of the Resurrection
    992 God revealed the resurrection of the dead to his people progressively. Hope in the bodily resurrection of the dead established itself as a consequence intrinsic to faith in God as creator of the whole man, soul and body. the creator of heaven and earth is also the one who faithfully maintains his covenant with Abraham and his posterity. It was in this double perspective that faith in the resurrection came to be expressed. In their trials, the Maccabean martyrs confessed:
    The King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws.2 Macc 7:9 One cannot but choose to die at the hands of men and to cherish the hope that God gives of being raised again by him.2 Macc 7:14; cf. 7:29; Dan 12:1-13

    993 The Pharisees and many of the Lord's contemporaries hoped for the resurrection. Jesus teaches it firmly. To the Sadducees who deny it he answers, "Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God?" Mk 12:24; cf. In 11:24; Acts 23:6 Faith in the resurrection rests on faith in God who "is not God of the dead, but of the living."Mk 12:27

    994 But there is more. Jesus links faith in the resurrection to his own person: "I am the Resurrection and the life."Jn 11:25 It is Jesus himself who on the last day will raise up those who have believed in him, who have eaten his body and drunk his blood.Jn 5:24-25; 6:40, 54 Already now in this present life he gives a sign and pledge of this by restoring some of the dead to life,Mk 5:21-42 announcing thereby his own Resurrection, though it was to be of another order. He speaks of this unique event as the "sign of Jonah,"Mt 12:39 The sign of the temple: he announces that he will be put to death but rise thereafter on the third day.Mk 10:34; Jn 2:19-22

    995 To be a witness to Christ is to be a "witness to his Resurrection," to "[have eaten and drunk] with him after he rose from the dead."Acts 1:22; 10:41; cf. 4:33 Encounters with the risen Christ characterize the Christian hope of resurrection. We shall rise like Christ, with him, and through him.

    996 From the beginning, Christian faith in the resurrection has met with incomprehension and opposition.Acts 17:32 "On no point does the Christian faith encounter more opposition than on the resurrection of the body." St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 88, 5: PL 37, 1134 It is very commonly accepted that the life of the human person continues in a spiritual fashion after death. But how can we believe that this body, so clearly mortal, could rise to everlasting life?

    How do the dead rise?
    997 What is "rising"? In death, the separation of the soul from the body, the human body decays and the soul goes to meet God, while awaiting its reunion with its glorified body. God, in his almighty power, will definitively grant incorruptible life to our bodies by reuniting them with our souls, through the power of Jesus' Resurrection.

    998 Who will rise? All the dead will rise, "those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment."Jn 5:29; cf. Dan 12:2

    999 How? Christ is raised with his own body: "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself";Lk 24:39 but he did not return to an earthly life. So, in him, "all of them will rise again with their own bodies which they now bear," but Christ "will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body," into a "spiritual body":Lateran Council IV (1215): DS 801; Phil 3:21; 2 Cor 15:44

    But someone will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?" You foolish man! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. and what you sow is not the body which is to be, but a bare kernel ....What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.... the dead will be raised imperishable.... For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality.1 Cor 15:35-37

    1000 This "how" exceeds our imagination and understanding; it is accessible only to faith. Yet our participation in the Eucharist already gives us a foretaste of Christ's transfiguration of our bodies:
    Just as bread that comes from the earth, after God's blessing has been invoked upon it, is no longer ordinary bread, but Eucharist, formed of two things, the one earthly and the other heavenly: so too our bodies, which partake of the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, but possess the hope of resurrection.St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4, 18, 4-5: PG 7/1, 1028-1029

    1001 When? Definitively "at the last day," "at the end of the world."Jn 6: 39-40 Indeed, the resurrection of the dead is closely associated with Christ's Parousia:
    For the Lord himself will descend from heaven, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. and the dead in Christ will rise first.1 Thess 4:16

    Risen with Christ
    1002 Christ will raise us up "on the last day"; but it is also true that, in a certain way, we have already risen with Christ. For, by virtue of the Holy Spirit, Christian life is already now on earth a participation in the death and Resurrection of Christ:
    And you were buried with him in Baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead .... If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.Col 2:12

    1003 United with Christ by Baptism, believers already truly participate in the heavenly life of the risen Christ, but this life remains "hidden with Christ in God."Col 3:3 The Father has already "raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."Eph 2:6 Nourished with his body in the Eucharist, we already belong to the Body of Christ. When we rise on the last day we "also will appear with him in glory."Col 3:4

    1004 In expectation of that day, the believer's body and soul already participate in the dignity of belonging to Christ. This dignity entails the demand that he should treat with respect his own body, but also the body of every other person, especially the suffering:
    The body [is meant] for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. and God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? .... You are not your own; .... So glorify God in your body.1 Cor 6:13-15