Thursday, May 23, 2013

Saturday, May 18, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Tempt, Psalms 11:4-7, Acts 28:16-30, John 21:20-25, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Gossip and envy do so much harm to the Christian community, St. Pope John I, , Catholic Catechism Part Two: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH - Chapter 3 Sacraments of Service at Communion Article 7:1 The Sacrament of Matrimony Marriage in Gods Plan

Saturday,  May 18, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Tempt, Psalms 11:4-7, Acts 28:16-30, John 21:20-25, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Gossip and envy do so much harm to the Christian community, St. Pope John I, , Catholic Catechism Part Two: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH - Chapter 3 Sacraments of Service at Communion Article 7:1 The Sacrament of Matrimony Marriage in Gods Plan

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. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, wonder and awe (fear of the Lord) , counsel, knowledge, fortitude, and piety (reverence) and shun the seven Deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony...Its your choice whether to embrace the Gifts of the Holy Spirit rising towards eternal light or succumb to the Seven deadly sins and 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 the Darkness, Purgatory or Heaven is our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...~ Zarya Parx 2013

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


Prayers for Today: Saturday in Easter

Rosary - Joyful Mysteries


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis May 18 General Audience Address :

Gossip and envy do so much harm to the Christian community.

(2013-05-18 Vatican Radio)

Vatican Radio) The Christian must overcome the temptation to "interfere in the lives of others," was the exhortation of Pope Francis at Mass this morning at the Casa Santa Marta. The Pope also stressed that talk and envy do so much harm to the Christian community.

"What is it to you?" Pope Francis begin his homily referring to a question Jesus posed to Peter when he had meddled in the life of the disciple John, "whom Jesus loved." Peter, the Pope pointed out, had "a dialogue of love" with the Lord, but then the dialogue "is diverted to another track," and he also suffers from a temptation: "to interfere in the lives of others." How do you say "vulgar," said the Pope, Peter becomes "nosy". Focus is therefore on two modes of this mix in the lives of others. First, the "comparison", "to compare oneself with others." When there is this comparison, Pope Francis said, "we end up in bitterness and even envy, but envy rusts the Christian community, "it brings much hurt," the "devil wants that." The second mode of this temptation, he added, is gossip. It begins "in an educated way," but then we end up “feeling bad”.

"We all chat in Church! As Christians we chat! The chatter is hurtful? We hurt one another. It is as if we want to put each other down.: instead of growing one makes the other feel small while I feel great. That will not do! It seems nice to chat ... I do not know why, but it looks nice. Like sweet of honey, right? You take one and then another, and another, and another, and in the end you have a stomach ache. And why ? The chatter is like that eh? It is 'sweet at first and it ruins you, it ruins your soul! Rumours are destructive in the Church, they are destructive ... It’s 'a little' like the spirit of Cain who killed his brother, his tongue; it kills his brother! "

On this road, the Holy Father said, "we become Christians of good manners and bad habits." But how do we do this ? Normally, Pope Francis noted, "we do three things":

"We supply misinformation: we tell only half that suits us and not the other half, the other half we do not say because it is not convenient for us. You smile at that ... Is that true or not? Did you see that thing? It goes on. The second is defamation: When a person truly has a flaw, it is big, they tell it, 'like a journalist' ... And the character of this person is ruined. And the third is the slander of saying things that are not true. It is like killing ones brother! All three - disinformation, defamation and slander - are sins! This is sin! It is to slap Jesus in the person of his children, his brothers. "

That is why Jesus does with us what he did with Peter when he says: "What is it to you? Follow me, "The Lord in this instance" points the way ":

"'This kind of talk will not do you any good, because it will just bring to the Church a spirit of destruction. Follow me! '. These are the beautiful words of Jesus, it is so clear, that he has so much love for us. As if to say: 'Don’t have fantasies, believing that salvation is in the comparisons with others or in gossip. Salvation is to go behind me '. Following Jesus! Today we ask the Lord Jesus to give us this grace not to ever get involved in the lives of others, not to become Christians of good manners and bad habits, it is to follow Jesus, to walk behind Jesus on his way. And this is enough. "

During his homily, Pope Francis also recalled an episode from the life of St. Therese who wondered why Jesus gave so much to one and not to another. The older sister then took a thimble and a glass and filled them with water and then asked Therese which of the two was more full. "But both are full," said the future saint. Jesus, the Pope said, does this with us", "he does not care if you're big, you're or small." What interests him is "if you are filled with the love of Jesus."


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope: May

Vatican City, 3 April 2013 (VIS)
Following is the calendar of celebrations scheduled to be presided over by the Holy Father in the month May, 2013:


18 May, Saturday: 6:00pm, Pentecost Vigil in St. Peter's Square with the participation of ecclesial movements.

19 May, Pentecost Sunday: 10:00am, Mass in St. Peter's Square with the participation of ecclesial movements.


  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2013 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 05/18/2013.


May 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children; Anew, I am calling you to love and not to judge. My Son, according to the will of the Heavenly Father, was among you to show you the way of salvation, to save you and not to judge you. If you desire to follow my Son, you will not judge but love like your Heavenly Father loves you. And when it is the most difficult for you, when you are falling under the weight of the cross do not despair, do not judge, instead remember that you are loved and praise the Heavenly Father because of His love. My children, do not deviate from the way on which I am leading you. Do not recklessly walk into perdition. May prayer and fasting strengthen you so that you can live as the Heavenly Father would desire; that you may be my apostles of faith and love; that your life may bless those whom you meet; that you may be one with the Heavenly Father and my Son. My children, that is the only truth, the truth that leads to your conversion, and then to the conversion of all those whom you meet - those who have not come to know my Son - all those who do not know what it means to love. My children, my Son gave you a gift of the shepherds. Take good care of them. Pray for them. Thank you."

April 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:: "Dear children! Pray, pray, keep praying until your heart opens in faith as a flower opens to the warm rays of the sun. This is a time of grace which God gives you through my presence but you are far from my heart, therefore, I call you to personal conversion and to family prayer. May Sacred Scripture always be an incentive for you. I bless you all with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call."


Today's Word:  tempt  tempt  [tempt]  

Origin:  1175–1225; Middle English  < Latin temptāre  to probe, feel, test, tempt

verb (used with object)
1. to entice or allure to do something often regarded as unwise, wrong, or immoral.
2. to attract, appeal strongly to, or invite: The offer tempts me.
3. to render strongly disposed to do something: The book tempted me to read more on the subject.
4. to put (someone) to the test in a venturesome way; provoke: to tempt one's fate.
5. Obsolete . to try or test.


Today's Old Testament Reading -   Psalms 11:4, 5, 7

4 Yahweh in his holy temple! Yahweh, his throne is in heaven; his eyes watch over the world, his gaze scrutinises the children of Adam.
5 Yahweh examines the upright and the wicked, the lover of violence he detests.
7 For Yahweh is upright and loves uprightness, the honest will ever see his face.


Today's Epistle -  Acts 28:16-20, 30-31

16 On our arrival in Rome Paul was allowed to stay in lodgings of his own with the soldier who guarded him.
17 After three days he called together the leading Jews. When they had assembled, he said to them, 'Brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans.
18 They examined me and would have set me free, since they found me guilty of nothing involving the death penalty;
19 but the Jews lodged an objection, and I was forced to appeal to Caesar, though not because I had any accusation to make against my own nation.
20 That is why I have urged you to see me and have a discussion with me, for it is on account of the hope of Israel that I wear this chain.'
30 He spent the whole of the two years in his own rented lodging. He welcomed all who came to visit him,
31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ with complete fearlessness and without any hindrance from anyone.


Today's Gospel Reading -  John 21:20-25

Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them -- the one who had leant back close to his chest at the supper and had said to him, 'Lord, who is it that will betray you?' Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus, 'What about him, Lord?' Jesus answered, 'If I want him to stay behind till I come, what does it matter to you? You are to follow me.' The rumour then went out among the brothers that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus had not said to Peter, 'He will not die,' but, 'If I want him to stay behind till I come.' This disciple is the one who vouches for these things and has written them down, and we know that his testimony is true. There was much else that Jesus did; if it were written down in detail, I do not suppose the world itself would hold all the books that would be written. 

• Today’s Gospel begins with the question of Peter: Lord, what about him? Jesus begins to speak with Peter, announcing the destiny or type of death by which Peter will glorify God. And at the end Jesus adds: Follow me. (Jn 21, 19).

• John 21, 20-21: Peter’s question concerning John’s destiny. At this moment, Peter turned back and saw the Disciple whom Jesus loved and asks: “Lord, what about him?” Jesus had just indicated the destiny of Peter and now Peter wants to know from Jesus which is the destiny of this other disciple. It is a curiosity which does not deserve an adequate response from Jesus.

• John 21, 22: The mysterious response of Jesus. Jesus says: If I want him to stay behind till I come, what does it matter to you? You are to follow me.” A mysterious phrase which ends again with the same affirmation as before: Follow me! Jesus seems to want to stop Peter’s curiosity. Just as each one of us has his/her own history, in the same way each one of us has his/her own way of following Jesus. Nobody is the exact copy of another person. Each one of us should be creative in following Jesus.

• John 21, 23: The Evangelist clarifies the sense of the response of Jesus. Ancient tradition identifies the Beloved Disciple with the Apostle John and says that he died very old, when he was almost one hundred years old. Putting together the old age of John with the mysterious response of Jesus, the Evangelist clarifies things saying: “The rumour then went out among the brothers that this disciple would not die. Yet, Jesus had not said to Peter: He will not die, but: If I want him to stay behind till I come; what does that matter to you?” Perhaps, it is a warning to be very attentive to the interpretation of the words of Jesus and not base oneself in any rumour.

• John 21, 24: Witness of the value of the Gospel. Chapter 21 is an added appendix when the final redaction of the Gospel was made. Chapter 20 ends with this phrase: “There were many other signs that Jesus worked in the sight of his disciples, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name.” (Jn 20, 30-31). The Book was ready but there were many other facts about Jesus. This is why, on the occasion of the definitive edition of the Gospel, some of these “many facts” about Jesus were chosen and added, very probably to clarify better the new problems of the end of the first century. We do not know who wrote the definitive redaction with the appendix, but we know it was someone of the community who could be trusted, because he writes: “This is the disciple who vouches for these things and has written them down and we know that his testimony is true”.

• John 21, 25: The mystery of Jesus is inexhaustible. A beautiful phrase to conclude the Gospel of John: “There was much else that Jesus did; if it were written down in detail, I do not suppose the world itself would hold all the books that would be written”. It seems an exaggeration, but it is the truth. Never will anyone be capable of writing all the things that Jesus has done and continues to do in the life of persons who up until now follow Jesus! 

For Personal Confrontation
• Is there something in your life which Jesus has done and which could be added to this book which will never be written?
• Peter is very concerned about the other disciple and forgets to carry on and live his own “Follow me”. Does this also happen to you?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St Pope John I

Feast Day:  May 18

Patron Saint:  

St Pope John I
Pope John I (Latin: Ioannes PP. I, Italian: Giovanni I; c. 470 – 18 May 526) was pope from 13 August 523 to 18 May 526.[1] He was a native of Siena (or the "Castello di Serena"), near Chiusdino, in Italy. He is the first pope known to have visited Constantinople while in office.[1]

While a deacon in Rome, he is known to have been a partisan of the Antipope Laurentius, for in a libellus written to Pope Symmachus in 506, John confessed his error in opposing him, condemned Peter of Altinum and Laurentius, and begged pardon of Symmachus. He would then be the "Deacon John" who signed the acta (ecclesiastic publication) of the Roman synod of 499 and 502; the fact the Roman church only had seven deacons at the time makes identifying him with this person very likely.[2] He may also be the "Deacon John" to whom Boethius, the 6th-Century philosopher, dedicated three of his five religious tractates, or treatises, written between 512 and 520.[3]

John was very frail when he was elected to the papacy as Pope John I. Despite his protests, Pope John was sent by the Arian King Theodoric the Great--ruler of the Ostrogoths, a kingdom in present-day Italy--to Constantinople to secure a moderation of a decree against the Arians, issued in 523, of Emperor Justin, ruler of the Byzantine, or East Roman, Empire. King Theodoric threatened that if John should fail in his mission, there would be reprisals against the orthodox, or non-Arian, Catholics in the West. John proceeded to Constantinople with a considerable entourage: his religious companions included Bishop Ecclesius of Ravenna, Bishop Eusebius of Fanum Fortunae, and Sabinus of Campania.[4] His secular companions were the senators Flavius Theodorus, Inportunus, Agapitus, and the patrician Agapitus.[5]

Emperor Justin is recorded as receiving John honorably and promised to do everything the embassy asked of him, with the exception of restoring converts from Arianism-to-Catholicism to their original beliefs.[6] Although John was successful in his mission, when he returned to Ravenna, Theodoric's capital in Italy, Theodoric had John arrested on the suspicion of having conspired with Emperor Justin. John was imprisoned at Ravenna, where he died of neglect and ill treatment. His body was transported to Rome and buried in the Basilica of St. Peter.

The Liber Pontificalis credits John with making repairs to the cemetery of the martyrs Nereus and Achilleus on the Via Ardeatina, that of Saints Felix and Adauctus, and the cemetery of Priscilla.[7]

Pope John I is depicted in art as looking through the bars of a prison or imprisoned with a deacon and a subdeacon. He is venerated at Ravenna and in Tuscany. His feast day is 18 May, the anniversary of the day of his death (whereas it had formerly been 27 May).[8]


  1. ^ a b  "Pope St. John I". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
  2. ^ John Moorhead, "The Last Years of Theoderic", Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, 32 (1983), p. 113
  3. ^ This identification was first proposed by E.K. Rand in 1928, and recently defended by Moorhead, "Last years", p. 113
  4. ^ Anonymus Valesianus, 15.90; translated by J.C. Rolfe, Ammianus Marcellinus (Harvard: Loeb Classical Library, 1972), vol. 3 p. 565
  5. ^ Raymond Davis (translator), The Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis), first edition (Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press, 1989), p. 49
  6. ^ Anonymus Valesianus, 15.91; translated by J.C. Rolfe, vol. 3 p. 565
  7. ^ Raymond Davis, The Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis), p. 50
  8. ^ Patron Saints Index: "Pope Saint John I" (last accessed 23 October 2011)

    Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


    Today's Snippet I:  Ostrogothic Kingdom

    The Mausoleum of Theoderic
    The Ostrogothic Kingdom was established by the Ostrogoths in Italy and neighbouring areas from 493 to 553. In Italy the Ostrogoths replaced Odoacer, the de facto ruler of Italy who had deposed the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, Romulus Augustulus, in 476. The Gothic kingdom reached its zenith under the rule of its first king, Theoderic the Great.

    Most of the social institutions of the late Western Roman Empire were preserved during his rule. Starting in 535, the Eastern Roman Empire (the Byzantine Empire) invaded Italy under Justinian I. The Ostrogothic ruler at that time, Witiges, could not defend successfully and was finally captured when the capital Ravenna fell.

    The Ostrogoths rallied around a new leader, Totila, and largely managed to reverse the conquest, but were eventually defeated. The last king of the Ostrogothic Kingdom was Teia. At its greatest extent the kingdom stretched from modern France in the west into modern Serbia in the southeast.




    The Ostrogoths were the eastern branch of the Goths. They settled and established a powerful state in Dacia, but during the late 4th century, they came under the dominion of the Huns. After the collapse of the Hunnic empire in 454, large numbers of Ostrogoths were settled by Emperor Marcian in the Roman province of Pannonia as foederati. But in 460, during the reign of Leo I, because the payment of annual sums had ceased, they ravaged Illyricum. Peace was concluded in 461, whereby the young Theoderic Amal, son of Theodemir of the Amals, was sent as a hostage to Constantinople, where he received a Roman education.[1]

    In previous years, a large number of Goths, first under Aspar and then under Theodoric Strabo, had entered service in the Roman army and were a significant political and military power in the court of Constantinople. The period 477-483 saw a complex three-way struggle among Theoderic the Amal, who had succeeded his father in 474, Theodoric Strabo, and the new Eastern Emperor Zeno. In this conflict, alliances shifted regularly, and large parts of the Balkans were devastated by it.[2]

    In the end, after Strabo's death in 481, Zeno came to terms with Theoderic. Parts of Moesia and Dacia ripensis were ceded to the Goths, and Theoderic was named magister militum praesentalis and consul for 484.[3] Barely a year later, Theoderic and Zeno fell out, and again Theoderic's Goths ravaged Thrace. It was then that the thought occurred to Zeno and his advisors to kill two birds with one stone, and direct Theoderic against another troublesome neighbor of the Empire - the Italian kingdom of Odoacer.

    Odoacer's kingdom (476-493)

    In 476, Odoacer, a Germanic magister militum, deposed the Western Emperor Romulus Augustulus and declared himself rex Italiae ("King of Italy"), while still nominally remaining under Imperial suzerainty. This fact was recognized by Zeno in 477, when he appointed Odoacer to the rank of patrician. Odoacer retained the Roman administrative system, cooperated actively with the Roman Senate, and his rule was efficient and successful. He evicted the Vandals from Sicily in 477, and in 480 he conquered Dalmatia after the murder of Julius Nepos.[4][5]

    Conquest of Italy by the Goths (488-493)

    An agreement was reached between Zeno and Theoderic, stipulating that Theoderic, if victorious, was to rule in Italy as the emperor's representative.[6] Theoderic with his people set out from Moesia in the autumn of 488, passed through Dalmatia and crossed the Julian Alps into Italy in late August 489. The first confrontation with the army of Odoacer was at the river Isonzo (the battle of Isonzo) on August 28. Odoacer was defeated and withdrew towards Verona, where a month later another battle was fought, resulting in a bloody, but crushing, Gothic victory.[7]

    Odoacer fled to his capital at Ravenna, while the larger part of his army under Tufa surrendered to the Goths. Theoderic then sent Tufa and his men against Odoacer, but he changed his allegiance again and returned to Odoacer. In 490, Odoacer was thus able to campaign against Theoderic, take Milan and Cremona and besiege the main Gothic base at Ticinum (Pavia). At that point, however, the Visigoths intervened, the siege of Ticinum was lifted, and Odoacer decisively defeated at the river Adda on 11 August 490. Odoacer fled again to Ravenna, while the Senate and many Italian cities declared themselves for Theoderic.[8]

    Theoderic kills Odoacer (493)

    The Goths now turned to besiege Ravenna, but since they lacked a fleet and the city could be resupplied by sea, the siege could be endured almost indefinitely, despite privations. It was not until 492 that Theoderic was able to procure a fleet and capture Ravenna's harbours, thus entirely cutting off communication with the outside world. The effects of this appeared six months later, when, with the mediation of the city's bishop, negotiations started between the two parties.[9]

    An agreement was reached on 25 February 493, whereby the two should divide Italy between them. A banquet was organised in order to celebrate this treaty. It was at this banquet, on March 15, that Theoderic, after making a toast, killed Odoacer with his own hands. A general massacre of Odoacer's soldiers and supporters followed. Theoderic and his Goths were now masters of Italy.[10]

    Reign of Theoderic the Great (493–526)

    Theoderic's rule

    "... Theoderic was a man of great distinction and of good-will towards all men, and he ruled for thirty-three years. In his times Italy for thirty years enjoyed such good fortune that his successors also inherited peace. For whatever he did was good. He so governed two races at the same time, Romans and Goths, that although he himself was of the Arian sect, he nevertheless made no assault on the Catholic religion; he gave games in the circus and the amphitheatre, so that even by the Romans he was called a Trajan or a Valentinian, whose times he took as a model; and by the Goths, because of his edict, in which he established justice, he was judged to be in all respects their best king."
    Anonymus Valesianus, Excerpta II 59-60
    Like Odoacer, Theoderic was ostensibly a patricius and subject of the emperor in Constantinople, acting as his viceroy for Italy, a position recognized by the new Emperor Anastasius in 497. At the same time, he was the king of his own people, who were not Roman citizens. In reality, he acted as an independent ruler, although unlike Odoacer, he meticulously preserved the outward forms of his subordinate position.[11]

    The administrative machinery of Odoacer's kingdom, in essence that of the former Empire, was retained and continued to be staffed exclusively by Romans, such as the articulate and literate Cassiodorus. The Senate continued to function normally and was consulted on civil appointments, and the laws of the Empire were still recognized as ruling the Roman population, though Goths were ruled under their own traditional laws. Indeed, as a subordinate ruler, Theoderic did not possess the right to issue his own laws (leges) in the system of Roman law, but merely edicts (edicta), or clarifications on certain details.[12]

    The continuity in administration is illustrated by the fact that several senior ministers of Odoacer, like Liberius and Cassiodorus the Elder, were retained in the new kingdom's top positions.[13] The close cooperation between Theoderic and the Roman elite began to break down in later years, especially after the healing of the ecclesiastical rift between Rome and Constantinople (see below), as leading senators conspired with the Emperor. This resulted in the arrest and execution of the magister officiorum Boethius and his father-in-law, Symmachus, in 524.[14]

    On the other hand, the army and all military offices remained the exclusive preserve of the Goths. The Goths were settled mostly in northern Italy, and kept themselves largely apart from the Roman population, a tendency reinforced by their different faiths: the Goths were mostly Arians, while the people they ruled over were following Chalcedonian Christianity. Nevertheless, and unlike the Visigoths or the Vandals, there was considerable religious tolerance, which was also extended towards Jews.[15]

    Theoderic's view was clearly expressed in his letters to the Jews of Genoa: "The true mark of civilitas is the observance of law. It is this which makes life in communities possible, and which separates man from the brutes. We therefore gladly accede to your request that all the privileges which the foresight of antiquity conferred upon the Jewish customs shall be renewed to you..."[16] and "We cannot order a religion, because no one can be forced to believe against his will."[17]

    Relations with the Germanic states of the West

    It is in his foreign policy rather than domestic affairs that Theoderic appeared and acted as an independent ruler. By means of marriage alliances, he sought to establish a central position among the barbarian states of the West. As Jordanes states: "...there was no race left in the western realms which Theoderic had not befriended or brought into subjection during his lifetime."[18] This was in part meant as a defensive measure, and in part as a counterbalance to the influence of the Empire. His daughters were wedded to the Visigothic king Alaric II and the Burgundian prince Sigismund,[19] his sister Amalfrida married the Vandal king Thrasamund,[20] while he himself married Audofleda, sister of the Frankish king Clovis I.[21]

    These policies were not always successful in maintaining peace: Theoderic found himself at war with Clovis when the latter attacked the Visigoth dominions in Gaul in 506. The Franks were rapidly successful, killing Alaric in the Battle of Vouillé and subduing Aquitania by 507. However, starting in 508, Theoderic's generals campaigned in Gaul, and were successful in saving Septimania for the Visigoths, as well as extending Ostrogothic rule into southern Gaul (Provence) at the expense of the Burgundians. There in 510 Theoderic reestablished the defunct praetorian prefecture of Gaul. Now Theoderic had a common border with the Visigothic kingdom, where, after Alaric's death, he also ruled as regent of his infant grandson Amalaric.[22]

    Family bonds also served little with Sigismund, who as a staunch Chalcedonian Catholic cultivated close ties to Constantinople. Theoderic perceived this as a threat and intended to campaign against him, but the Franks acted first and invaded Burgundy in 523, quickly subduing it. Theoderic could only react by expanding his domains in the Provence north of the river Durance up to the Isère River.

    The peace with the Vandals, secured in 500 with the marriage alliance with Thrasamund, and their common interests as Arian powers against Constantinople, collapsed after Thrasamund's death in 523. His successor Hilderic showed favour to the Nicaean Catholics, and when Amalfrida protested, he had her and her entourage murdered. Theoderic was preparing an expedition against him when he died.[23]

    Relations with the Empire

    "It behoves us, most clement Emperor, to seek for peace, since there are no causes for anger between us. [...] Our royalty is an imitation of yours, modelled on your good purpose, a copy of the only Empire; and insofar as we follow you do we excel all other nations. Often you have exhorted me to love the senate, to accept cordially the laws of past emperors, to join together in one all the members of Italy. [...] There is moreover that noble sentiment, love for the city of Rome, from which two princes, both of whom govern in her name, should never be disjoined."
    Letter of Theoderic to Anastasius
    Cassiodorus, Variae I.1
    Theoderic's relations with his nominal suzerain, the Eastern Roman Emperor, were always strained, for political as well as for religious reasons. Especially during the reign of Anastasius, these led to several collisions, none of which however escalated into general warfare. In 504-505, Theoderic's forces launched a campaign to recover Pannonia and the strategically important town of Sirmium, formerly parts of the praetorian prefecture of Italy, which were now occupied by the Gepids.[24]

    The campaign was successful, but it also led to a brief conflict with imperial troops, where the Goths and their allies were victorious. Domestically, the Acacian schism between the patriarchates of Rome and Constantinople, caused by imperial support for the Henotikon, as well as Anastasius' Monophysite beliefs, played into Theoderic's hands, since the clergy and the Roman aristocracy of Italy, headed by Pope Symmachus, vigorously opposed them.[25]

    Thus, for a time, Theoderic could count on their support. The war between the Franks and Visigoths led to renewed friction between Theoderic and the Emperor, as Clovis successfully portrayed himself as the champion of the Catholic Church against the "heretical" Arian Goths, gaining the Emperor's support. This even led to the dispatch of a fleet by Anastasius in 508, which ravaged the coasts of Apulia.[26]

    With the ascension of Justin I in 518, a more harmonious relationship seemed to be restored. Eutharic, Theoderic's son-in-law and designated successor, was appointed consul for the year 519, while in 522, to celebrate the healing of the Acacian schism, Justin allowed both consuls to be appointed by Theoderic.[27] Soon, however, renewed tension would result from Justin's anti-Arian legislation, and tensions grew between the Goths and the Senate, whose members, as Chalcedonians, now shifted their support to the Emperor.[28]
    The suspicions of Theoderic were confirmed by the interception of compromising letters between leading senators and Constantinople, which led to the imprisonment and execution of Boethius in 524. Pope John I was sent to Constantinople to mediate on the Arians' behalf, and, although he achieved his mission, on his return he was imprisoned and died shortly after. These events further stirred popular sentiment against the Goths.[29]

    Death of Theoderic and dynastic disputes (526-535)

    After the death of Theoderic on 30 August 526, his achievements began to collapse. Since Eutharic had died in 523, Theoderic was succeeded by his infant grandson Athalaric, supervised by his mother, Amalasuntha, as regent. The lack of a strong heir caused the network of alliances that surrounded the Ostrogothic state to disintegrate: the Visigothic kingdom regained its autonomy under Amalaric, the relations with the Vandals turned increasingly hostile, and the Franks embarked again on expansion, subduing the Thuringians and the Burgundians and almost evicting the Visigoths from their last holdings in southern Gaul.[30] The position of predominance which the Ostrogothic Kingdom had enjoyed under Theoderic in the West now passed irrevocably to the Franks.

    This dangerous external climate was exacerbated by the regency's weak domestic position. Amalasuntha was Roman-educated and intended to continue her father's policies of conciliation between Goths and Romans. To that end, she actively courted the support of the Senate and the newly ascended Emperor Justinian I, even providing him with bases in Sicily during the Vandalic War. However, these ideas did not find much favour with the Gothic nobles, who in addition resented being ruled by a woman. They protested when she resolved to give her son a Roman education, preferring that Athalaric be raised as a warrior. She was forced to discharge his Roman tutors, but instead Athalaric turned to a life of dissipation and excess, which would send him to a premature death.[31]

    "[Amalasuntha] feared she might be despised by the Goths on account of the weakness of her sex. So after much thought she decided [...] to summon her cousin Theodahad from Tuscany, where he led a retired life at home, and thus she established him on the throne. But he was unmindful of their kinship and, after a little time, had her taken from the palace at Ravenna to an island of the Bulsinian lake where he kept her in exile. After spending a very few days there in sorrow, she was strangled in the bath by his hirelings."
    Jordanes, Getica 306
    Eventually, a conspiracy started among the Goths to overthrow her. Amalasuntha resolved to move against them, but as a precaution, she also made preparations to flee to Constantinople, and even wrote to Justinian asking for protection. In the event she managed to execute the three leading conspirators, and her position remained relatively secure until, in 533, Athalaric's health began to seriously decline.[32]

    Amalasuntha then turned for support to her only relative, her cousin Theodahad, while at the same time sending ambassadors to Justinian and proposing to cede Italy to him. Justinian indeed sent an able agent of his, Peter of Thessalonica, to carry out the negotiations, but before he had even crossed into Italy, Athalaric had died (on 2 October 534), Amalasuntha had crowned Theodahad as king in an effort to secure his support, and he had deposed and imprisoned her. Theodahad, who was of a peaceful disposition, immediately sent envoys to announce his ascension to Justinian and to reassure him of Amalasuntha's safety.[33]

    Justinian immediately reacted by offering his support to the deposed queen, but in early May 535, she was executed.a[›] This crime served as a perfect excuse for Justinian, fresh from his forces' victory over the Vandals, to invade the Gothic realm in retaliation.[34] Theodahad tried to prevent the war, sending his envoys to Constantinople, but Justinian was already resolved to reclaim Italy. Only by renouncing his throne in the Empire's favour could Theodahad hope to avert war.

    The Gothic War and end of the Ostrogothic Kingdom (535–554)

    The Gothic War between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Ostrogothic Kingdom was fought from 535 until 554 in Italy, Dalmatia, Sardinia, Sicily and Corsica. It is commonly divided into two phases. The first phase lasted from 535 to 540 and ended with the fall of Ravenna and the apparent reconquest of Italy by the Byzantines.

    During the second phase (540/541–553), Goths' resistance was reinvigorated under Totila and put down only after a long struggle by Narses, who also repelled the 554 invasion by the Franks and Alamanni. In the same year, Justinian promulgated the Pragmatic Sanction which prescribed Italy's new government. Several cities in northern Italy continued to hold out, however, until the early 560s.

    The war had its roots in the ambition of Roman Emperor Justinian to recover the provinces of the former Western Roman Empire, which had been lost to invading barbarian tribes in the previous century (the Migration Period). By the end of the conflict Italy was devastated and considerably depopulated. As a consequence, the victorious Byzantines found themselves unable to resist the invasion of the Lombards in 568, which resulted in the loss of large parts of the Italian peninsula.

    Rulers of the Ostrogothic Kingdom

    • Theoderic the Great (Thiudoric) 489-526
    • Athalaric (Atthalaric) 526-534
    • Theodahad (Thiudahad) 534-536
    • Witiges (Wittigeis) 536-540
    • Ildibad (Hildibad) 540-541
    • Eraric the Rugian (Heraric, Ariaric) 541
    • Totila (Baduila) 541-552
    • Teia (Theia, Teja) 552-553



    The Palace of Theoderic
    Because of the kingdom's short history, no fusion of the two peoples and their art was achieved. However, under the patronage of Theoderic and Amalasuntha, large-scale restoration of ancient Roman buildings was undertaken, and the tradition of Roman civic architecture continued. In Ravenna, new churches and monumental buildings were erected, several of which survive.

    The Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, its baptistry, and the Archiepiscopal Chapel follow the typical late Roman architectural and decorative motifs, but the Mausoleum of Theoderic displays purely Gothic elements, such as its construction not from the usual brick, but of massive slabs of Istrian limestone, or the 300-ton single-piece roof stone.


    All of the surviving literature written in the Ostrogothic kingdom is in Latin, though some older works were copied in Greek and Gothic (e.g. the Codex Argenteus), and the literature is solidly in the Greco-Roman tradition. Cassiodorus, hailing from a distinguished background, and himself entrusted with high offices (consul and magister officiorum) represents the Roman ruling class. Like many others of his background, he served Theoderic and his heirs loyally and well, something expressed in the writings of the period.

    In his Chronica, used later by Jordanes in his Getica, as well as in the various panegyrics written by him and other prominent Romans of the time for the Gothic kings, Roman literary and historical tradition is put in the service of their Gothic overlords. His privileged position enabled him to compile the Variae Epistolae, a collection of state correspondence, which gives great insight into the inner workings of the Gothic state. Boethius is another prominent figure of the period. Well-educated and also from a distinguished family, he wrote works on mathematics, music and philosophy. His most famous work, Consolatio philosophiae, was written while imprisoned on charges of treason.

    In popular culture

    • The 1876 historical novel A Struggle for Rome by Felix Dahn (and its two-part screen adaptation in 1968 and 1969) focuses on the struggle between the Byzantines, the Ostrogoths and the native Italians over control of Italy after Theoderic's death.
    • In the 1941 alternate history novel Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp, a modern archaeologist is transported through time to Ostrogothic Italy, helps to stabilise it after Theoderic's death and averts its conquest by Justinian.
    • Guy Gavriel Kay's Sarantine Mosaic series takes place in a setting based on Ostrogothic Italy and the East Roman Empire, just before the Gothic War.
    • Gary Jennings' 1993 novel Raptor documents the rise of Theoderic the Great and the Ostrogothic Kingdom through the eyes of his hermaphrodite confidant Thorn.


    ^ a: The exact date and circumstances surrounding Amalasuntha's execution remain a mystery. In his Secret History, Procopius proposes that Empress Theodora might have had a hand in the affair, wishing to get rid of a potential rival. Although generally dismissed by historians such as Gibbon and Charles Diehl, Bury (Ch. XVIII, pp. 165-167) considers that the story is corroborated by circumstantial evidence.


    1. ^ Jordanes, Getica, 271
    2. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XII, pp. 413-421
    3. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XII, pp. 413-421
    4. ^ "At this time, Odovacar overcame and killed Odiva in Dalmatia", Cassiodorus, Chronica 1309, s.a.481
    5. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XII, pp. 406-412
    6. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XII, p. 422
    7. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XII, pp. 422-424
    8. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XII, pp. 422-424
    9. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XII, pp. 454-455
    10. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XII, pp. 454-455
    11. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XIII, pp. 422-424
    12. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XIII, pp. 422-424
    13. ^ Bury (1923), Vol. II, Ch. XIII, p. 458
    14. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XVIII, pp. 153-155
    15. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XIII, p. 459
    16. ^ Cassiodorus, Variae, IV.33
    17. ^ Cassiodorus, Variae, II.27
    18. ^ Jordanes, Getica 303
    19. ^ Jordanes, Getica, 297
    20. ^ Jordanes, Getica, 299
    21. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XIII, pp. 461-462
    22. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XIII, p. 462
    23. ^ Procopius, De Bello Vandalico I.VIII.11-14
    24. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XIII, p. 464
    25. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XIII, p. 464
    26. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XIII, p. 464
    27. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XVIII, pp. 152-153
    28. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XVIII, p. 157
    29. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XVIII, p. 157
    30. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XVIII, p. 161
    31. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XVIII, pp. 159-160
    32. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XVIII, pp. 163-164
    33. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XVIII, pp. 163-164
    34. ^ Procopius, De Bello Gothico I.V.1


    Primary sources

    • Procopius, De Bello Gothico, Volumes I-IV
    • Jordanes, De origine actibusque Getarum ("The Origin and Deeds of the Goths"), translated by Charles C. Mierow.
    • Cassiodorus, Chronica
    • Cassiodorus, Varia epistolae ("Letters"), at the Project Gutenberg
    • Anonymus Valesianus, Excerpta, Pars II


    Secondary sources

    • Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Vol. IV, Chapters 41 & 43
    • Amory, Patrick (2003). People and Identity in Ostrogothic Italy, 489-554. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-52635-7.
    • Barnwell, P. S. (1992). Emperor, Prefects & Kings: The Roman West, 395-565. UNC Press. ISBN 978-0-8078-2071-1.
    • Burns, Thomas S. (1984). A History of the Ostrogoths. Boomington.
    • Bury, John Bagnell (1923). History of the Later Roman Empire Vols. I & II. Macmillan & Co., Ltd.
    • Heather, Peter (1998). The Goths. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-0-631-20932-4.
    • Wolfram, Herwig; Dunlap, Thomas (1997). The Roman Empire and its Germanic peoples. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-08511-4.


     Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part Two: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery, 

    Section Two: The Seven Sacraments of the Church 





    1533 Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are sacraments of Christian initiation. They ground the common vocation of all Christ's disciples, a vocation to holiness and to the mission of evangelizing the world. They confer the graces needed for the life according to the Spirit during this life as pilgrims on the march towards the homeland.

    1534 Two other sacraments, Holy Orders and Matrimony, are directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God.

    1535 Through these sacraments those already consecrated by Baptism and Confirmation LG 10 for the common priesthood of all the faithful can receive particular consecrations. Those who receive the sacrament of Holy Orders are consecrated in Christ's name "to feed the Church by the word and grace of God."LG 11 # 2 On their part, "Christian spouses are fortified and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and dignity of their state by a special sacrament."GS 48  # 2

    Article 7
    1601 "The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament."CIC, can. 1055 # 1; cf. GS 48 # 1

    I. Marriage in God's Plan
    1602 Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of "the wedding-feast of the Lamb."Rev 19:7, 9; cf. Gen 1:26-27 Scripture speaks throughout of marriage and its "mystery," its institution and the meaning God has given it, its origin and its end, its various realizations throughout the history of salvation, the difficulties arising from sin and its renewal "in the Lord" in the New Covenant of Christ and the Church.1 Cor 7:39; cf. Eph 5:31-32

    Marriage in the order of creation
    1603 "The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws.... God himself is the author of marriage."GS 48 # 1 The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity, GS 47 # 2 some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. "The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life."GS 47 # 1
    1604 God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love.Gen 1:27; 1 Jn 4:8, 16 Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator's eyes. and this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: "and God blessed them, and God said to them: 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.'"Gen 1:28; cf. 1:3
    1605 Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: "It is not good that the man should be alone."Gen 2:18 The woman, "flesh of his flesh," i.e., his counterpart, his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a "helpmate"; she thus represents God from whom comes our help.Gen 2:18-25 "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh."Gen 2:24 The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been "in the beginning": "So they are no longer two, but one flesh."Mt 19:6

    Marriage under the regime of sin
    1606 Every man experiences evil around him and within himself. This experience makes itself felt in the relationships between man and woman. Their union has always been threatened by discord, a spirit of domination, infidelity, jealousy, and conflicts that can escalate into hatred and separation. This disorder can manifest itself more or less acutely, and can be more or less overcome according to the circumstances of cultures, eras, and individuals, but it does seem to have a universal character.
    1607 According to faith the disorder we notice so painfully does not stem from the nature of man and woman, nor from the nature of their relations, but from sin. As a break with God, the first sin had for its first consequence the rupture of the original communion between man and woman. Their relations were distorted by mutual recriminations;Gen 3:12 their mutual attraction, the Creator's own gift, changed into a relationship of domination and lust;Gen 2:22; 3:16b and the beautiful vocation of man and woman to be fruitful, multiply, and subdue the earth was burdened by the pain of childbirth and the toil of work.Gen 1:28; :/]; 3:16-19
    1608 Nevertheless, the order of creation persists, though seriously disturbed. To heal the wounds of sin, man and woman need the help of the grace that God in his infinite mercy never refuses them.Gen 3:21 Without his help man and woman cannot achieve the union of their lives for which God created them "in the beginning."

    Marriage under the pedagogy of the Law
    1609 In his mercy God has not forsaken sinful man. the punishments consequent upon sin, "pain in childbearing" and toil "in the sweat of your brow,"Gen 3:16, 19 also embody remedies that limit the damaging effects of sin. After the fall, marriage helps to overcome self-absorption, egoism, pursuit of one's own pleasure, and to open oneself to the other, to mutual aid and to self-giving.
    1610 Moral conscience concerning the unity and indissolubility of marriage developed under the pedagogy of the old law. In the Old Testament the polygamy of patriarchs and kings is not yet explicitly rejected. Nevertheless, the law given to Moses aims at protecting the wife from arbitrary domination by the husband, even though according to the Lord's words it still carries traces of man's "hardness of heart" which was the reason Moses permitted men to divorce their wives.Mt 19:8; Deut 24:1
    1611 Seeing God's covenant with Israel in the image of exclusive and faithful married love, the prophets prepared the Chosen People's conscience for a deepened understanding of the unity and indissolubility of marriage.Hos 1-3; Isa 54; The books of Ruth and Tobit bear moving witness to an elevated sense of marriage and to the fidelity and tenderness of spouses. Tradition has always seen in the Song of Solomon a unique expression of human love, a pure reflection of God's love - a love "strong as death" that "many waters cannot quench."Song 8:6-7

    Marriage in the Lord
    1612 The nuptial covenant between God and his people Israel had prepared the way for the new and everlasting covenant in which the Son of God, by becoming incarnate and giving his life, has united to himself in a certain way all mankind saved by him, thus preparing for "the wedding-feast of the Lamb."Rev 19:7, 9; cf. GS 22
    1613 On the threshold of his public life Jesus performs his first sign - at his mother's request - during a wedding feast.Jn 2:1-11 The Church attaches great importance to Jesus' presence at the wedding at Cana. She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ's presence.
    1614 In his preaching Jesus unequivocally taught the original meaning of the union of man and woman as the Creator willed it from the beginning permission given by Moses to divorce one's wife was a concession to the hardness of hearts.Mt 19:8 The matrimonial union of man and woman is indissoluble: God himself has determined it "what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder."Mt 19:6

    1615 This unequivocal insistence on the indissolubility of the marriage bond may have left some perplexed and could seem to be a demand impossible to realize. However, Jesus has not placed on spouses a burden impossible to bear, or too heavy - heavier than the Law of Moses.Mk 8:34; Mt 11:29-30 By coming to restore the original order of creation disturbed by sin, he himself gives the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Reign of God. It is by following Christ, renouncing themselves, and taking up their crosses that spouses will be able to "receive" the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ.Mt 19:11 This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ's cross, the source of all Christian life.

    1616 This is what the Apostle Paul makes clear when he says: "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her," adding at once: "'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one. This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church."Eph 5:25-26, 31-32; Cf. Gen 2:24

    1617 The entire Christian life bears the mark of the spousal love of Christ and the Church. Already Baptism, the entry into the People of God, is a nuptial mystery; it is so to speak the nuptial bathEph 5:26-27 which precedes the wedding feast, the Eucharist. Christian marriage in its turn becomes an efficacious sign, the sacrament of the covenant of Christ and the Church. Since it signifies and communicates grace, marriage between baptized persons is a true sacrament of the New Covenant.DS 1800; CIC, Can. 1055 # 2

    Virginity for the sake of the Kingdom
    1618 Christ is the center of all Christian life. the bond with him takes precedence over all other bonds, familial or social.Lk 14:26; Mk 10:28-31 From the very beginning of the Church there have been men and women who have renounced the great good of marriage to follow the Lamb wherever he goes, to be intent on the things of the Lord, to seek to please him, and to go out to meet the Bridegroom who is coming.Rev 14:4; 1 Cor 7:32; Mt 2:56 Christ himself has invited certain persons to follow him in this way of life, of which he remains the model:

    "For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it."Mt 19:12

    1619 Virginity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven is an unfolding of baptismal grace, a powerful sign of the supremacy of the bond with Christ and of the ardent expectation of his return, a sign which also recalls that marriage is a reality of this present age which is passing away.Mk 12:25; 1 Cor 7:31

    1620 Both the sacrament of Matrimony and virginity for the Kingdom of God come from the Lord himself. It is he who gives them meaning and grants them the grace which is indispensable for living them out in conformity with his will.Mt 19:3-12 Esteem of virginity for the sake of the kingdom LG 42; PC 12; OT 10 and the Christian understanding of marriage are inseparable, and they reinforce each other:

    Whoever denigrates marriage also diminishes the glory of virginity. Whoever praises it makes virginity more admirable and resplendent. What appears good only in comparison with evil would not be truly good. the most excellent good is something even better than what is admitted to be good.St. John Chrysostom, De virg. 10, 1 PG 48, 540; Cf. John Paul II, FC 16