Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sunday, June 16, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Ethics, Psalms 32:1-11, Second Samuel 12:7-10, 13, Luke 7:36 - 8:3, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Sunday of Ordinary Time “Evangelium Vitae”, St. John Francis Regis, The Ardeche France, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life In Christ Section 1 The Dignity of the Human Person Article 5:2 Morality of Passions - Passion and Moral Life

Sunday,  June 16, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Ethics, Psalms 32:1-11, Second Samuel 12:7-10, 13, Luke 7:36 - 8:3, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Sunday of Ordinary Time “Evangelium Vitae”, St. John Francis Regis, The Ardeche France, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life  In Christ Section 1 The Dignity of the Human Person Article 5:2 Morality of Passions - Passion and Moral Life

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, reason 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 Soul...it'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: 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Rosary - Glorious Mysteries


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis June 16 General Audience Address :

Sunday of Ordinary Time “Evangelium Vitae”

(2013-06-16 Vatican Radio)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This celebration has a very beautiful name: “Evangelium Vitae”, the Gospel of Life. In this Eucharist, in the Year of Faith, let us thank the Lord for the gift of life in all its forms, and at the same time let us proclaim the Gospel of Life.

On the basis of the word of God which we have heard, I would like to offer you three simple points of meditation for our faith: first, the Bible reveals to us the Living God, the God who is life and the source of life; second, Jesus Christ bestows life and the Holy Spirit maintains us in life; and third, following God’s way leads to life, whereas following idols leads to death.

1. The first reading, taken from the Second Book of Samuel, speaks to us of life and death. King David wants to hide the act of adultery which he committed with the wife of Uriah the Hittite, a soldier in his army. To do so, he gives the order that Uriah be placed on the front lines and so be killed in battle. The Bible shows us the human drama in all its reality: good and evil, passion, sin and its consequences. Whenever we want to assert ourselves, when we become wrapped up in our own selfishness and put ourselves in the place of God, we end up spawning death. King David’s adultery is one example of this. Selfishness leads to lies, as we attempt to deceive ourselves and those around us. But God cannot be deceived. We heard how the prophet says to David: “Why have you done evil in the Lord’s sight? (cf. 2 Sam 12:9). The King is forced to face his deadly deeds; he recognizes them and he begs forgiveness: “I have sinned against the Lord!” (v. 13). The God of mercy, who desires life, then forgives David, restores him to life. The prophet tells him: “The Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die”.

What is the image we have of God? Perhaps he appears to us as a severe judge, as someone who curtails our freedom and the way we live our lives. But the Scriptures everywhere tell us that God is the Living One, the one who bestows life and points the way to fullness of life. I think of the beginning of the Book of Genesis: God fashions man out of the dust of the earth; he breathes in his nostrils the breath of life, and man becomes a living being (cf. 2:7). God is the source of life; thanks to his breath, man has life. God’s breath sustains the entire journey of our life on earth. I also think of the calling of Moses, where the Lord says that he is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, the God of the living. When he sends Moses to Pharaoh to set his people free, he reveals his name: “I am who I am”, the God who enters into our history, sets us free from slavery and death, and brings life to his people because he is the Living One. I also think of the gift of the Ten Commandments: a path God points out to us towards a life which is truly free and fulfilling. The commandments are not a litany of prohibitions, but a great “Yes!”: a yes to God, to Love, to life. Dear friends, our lives are fulfilled in God alone. He is the Living One!

2. Today’s Gospel brings us another step forward. Jesus allows a woman who was a sinner to approach him during a meal in the house of a Pharisee, scandalizing those present. Not only does he let the woman approach but he even forgives her sins, saying: “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little” (Lk 7:47). Jesus is the incarnation of the Living God, the one who brings life amid deeds of death, sin, selfishness and self-absorption. Jesus accepts, loves, uplifts, encourages, forgives, restores the ability to walk, gives back life. Throughout the Gospels we see how Jesus by his words and actions brings the transforming life of God. This was the experience of the woman who anointed the feet of the Lord with ointment: she felt understood, loved, and she responded by a gesture of love: she let herself be touched by God’s mercy, she obtained forgiveness and she started a new life.

This was also the experience of the Apostle Paul, as we heard in the second reading: “The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). What is this life? It is God’s own life. And who brings us this life? It is the Holy Spirit, the gift of the risen Christ. The Spirit leads us into the divine life as true children of God, as sons and daughters in the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Are we open to the Holy Spirit? Do we let ourselves be guided by him? Christians are “spiritual”. This does not mean that we are people who live “in the clouds”, far removed from real life, as if it were some kind of mirage. No! The Christian is someone who thinks and acts in everyday life according to God’s will, someone who allows his or her life to be guided and nourished by the Holy Spirit, to be a full life, a life worthy of true sons and daughters. And this entails realism and fruitfulness. Those who let themselves be led by the Holy Spirit are realists, they know how to survey and assess reality. They are also fruitful; their lives bring new life to birth all around them.

3. God is the Living One; Jesus brings us the life of God; the Holy Spirit gives and keeps us in our new life as true sons and daughters of God. But all too often, people do not choose life, they do not accept the “Gospel of Life” but let themselves be led by ideologies and ways of thinking that block life, that do not respect life, because they are dictated by selfishness, self-interest, profit, power and pleasure, and not by love, by concern for the good of others. It is the eternal dream of wanting to build the city of man without God, without God’s life and love – a new Tower of Babel. It is the idea that rejecting God, the message of Christ, the Gospel of Life, will somehow lead to freedom, to complete human fulfilment. As a result, the Living God is replaced by fleeting human idols which offer the intoxication of a flash of freedom, but in the end bring new forms of slavery and death. The wisdom of the Psalmist says: “The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Ps 19:8).

Dear brothers and sisters, let us look to God as the God of Life, let us look to his law, to the Gospel message, as the way to freedom and life. The Living God sets us free! Let us say “Yes” to love and not selfishness. Let us say “Yes” to life and not death. Let us say “Yes” to freedom and not enslavement to the many idols of our time. In a word, let us say “Yes” to the God who is love, life and freedom, and who never disappoints (cf. 1 Jn 4:8; Jn 11:2; Jn 8:32). Only faith in the Living God saves us: in the God who in Jesus Christ has given us his own life, and by the gift of the Holy Spirit has enabled us to live as true sons and daughters of God. This faith brings us freedom and happiness. Let us ask Mary, Mother of Life, to help us receive and bear constant witness to the “Gospel of Life”.


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope: Summer

Vatican City, Summer2013 (VIS)
Following is the calendar of celebrations scheduled to be presided over by the Holy Father for the Summer of 2013:


16 June, 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time: 10:30am, Mass for “Evangelium Vitae” Day in St. Peter's Square.

29 Saturday, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul: 9:30am, Mass and imposition of the pallium upon new metropolitans in the papal chapel.

The Prefecture of the Papal Household has released Pope Francis' agenda for the summer period, from July through to the end of August. Briefing journalists, Holy See Press Office director, Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed that the Pope will remain 'based ' at the Casa Santa Marta residence in Vatican City State for the duration of the summer.

As per tradition, all private and special audiences are suspended for the duration of the summer. The Holy Father's private Masses with employees will end July 7 and resume in September. The Wednesday general audiences are suspended for the month of July to resume August 7 at the Vatican.

7 July, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time: 9:30am, Mass with seminarians and novices in the Vatican Basilica.

14 July Sunday , Pope Francis will lead the Angelus prayer from the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.

Pope Francis will travel to Brazil for the 28th World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro from Monday July 22 to Monday July 29.  


  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2013 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 06/16/2013.


June 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children, in this restless time, anew I am calling you to set out after my Son - to follow Him. I know of the pain, suffering and difficulties, but in my Son you will find rest; in Him you will find peace and salvation. My children, do not forget that my Son redeemed you by His Cross and enabled you, anew, to be children of God; to be able to, anew, call the Heavenly Father, "Father". To be worthy of the Father, love and forgive, because your Father is love and forgiveness. Pray and fast, because that is the way to your purification, it is the way of coming to know and becoming cognizant of the Heavenly Father. When you become cognizant of the Father, you will comprehend that He is all you need. I, as a mother, desire my children to be in a community of one single people where the Word of God is listened to and carried out.* Therefore, my children, set out after my Son. Be one with Him. Be God's children. Love your shepherds as my Son loved them when He called them to serve you. Thank you." *Our Lady said this resolutely and with emphasis.

May 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:“Dear children! Today I call you to be strong and resolute in faith and prayer, until your prayers are so strong so as to open the Heart of my beloved Son Jesus. Pray little children, pray without ceasing until your heart opens to God’s love. I am with you and I intercede for all of you and I pray for your conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

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."


Today's Word:  ethics  eth·i·cs  [eth-i-ks]  

Origin:  1400–50;  late Middle English ethic + -s3 , modeled on Greek ēthiká,  neuter plural
plural noun
1. ( used with a singular or plural verb ) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture.
2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.
3. moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence.
4. ( usually used with a singular verb ) that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.


Today's Old Testament Reading -   Psalms 32:1-2, 5, 7, 11

1 [Of David Poem] How blessed are those whose offence is forgiven, whose sin blotted out.
2 How blessed are those to whom Yahweh imputes no guilt, whose spirit harbours no deceit.
5 I made my sin known to you, did not conceal my guilt. I said, 'I shall confess my offence to Yahweh.' And you, for your part, took away my guilt, forgave my sin.Pause
7 You are a refuge for me, you guard me in trouble, with songs of deliverance you surround me.Pause
11 Rejoice in Yahweh, exult all you upright, shout for joy, you honest of heart.


Today's Epistle -  Second Samuel 12:7-10, 13

7 Nathan then said to David, 'You are the man! Yahweh, God of Israel, says this, "I anointed you king of Israel, I saved you from Saul's clutches,
8 I gave you your master's household and your master's wives into your arms, I gave you the House of Israel and the House of Judah; and, if this is still too little, I shall give you other things as well.
9 Why did you show contempt for Yahweh, by doing what displeases him? You put Uriah the Hittite to the sword, you took his wife to be your wife, causing his death by the sword of the Ammonites.
10 For this, your household will never be free of the sword, since you showed contempt for me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite, to make her your wife."
13 David said to Nathan, 'I have sinned against Yahweh.' Nathan then said to David, 'Yahweh, for his part, forgives your sin; you are not to die.


Today's Gospel Reading -  Luke 7:36 - 8:3

Jesus welcomes and defends
the woman with the ointment.
Poor people’s trust in Jesus

1. Opening prayer

Lord Jesus, send your Spirit to help us to read the Scriptures with the same mind that you read them to the disciples on the way to Emmaus. In the light of the Word, written in the Bible, you helped them to discover the presence of God in the disturbing events of your sentence and death. Thus, the cross that seemed to be the end of all hope became for them the source of life and of resurrection.

Create in us silence so that we may listen to your voice in Creation and in the Scriptures, in events and in people, above all in the poor and suffering. May your word guide us so that we too, like the two disciples from Emmaus, may experience the force of your resurrection and witness to others that you are alive in our midst as source of fraternity, justice and peace. We ask this of you, Jesus, son of Mary, who revealed to us the Father and sent us your Spirit. Amen.

2. Reading
a) A key to the reading:
The text of this Sunday’s Gospel puts before us two related episodes. The first episode is quite emotional. A woman who was thought to be a sinner in the city, has the courage to go into Simon’s house, a Pharisee, during a meal, to meet Jesus, wash his feet and cover them with kisses and ointment. The second episode describes Jesus’ community of men and women.

As you read the text, imagine being in the Pharisee’s house at table and look carefully at the attitudes, actions and words of those present, the woman, Jesus and the Pharisees. Read again the brief information that Luke gives concerning the community that grew around Jesus and try to examine carefully the words used to show that the community was made up of men and women who followed Jesus.

c) A division of the text to help with the reading:
Luke 7:36-38: A woman washes Jesus’ feet in the house of a Pharisee
Luke 7:39-40: The Pharisee’s reaction and Jesus’ reply
Luke 7:41-43: The parable of the two debtors and the Pharisee’s reply
Luke 7:44-47: Jesus applies the parable and defends the girl
Luke 7:48-50: Love generates forgiveness and forgiveness generates love
Luke 8:1-3: The men and women disciples of Jesus’ community

c) Text:
36 One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to a meal. When he arrived at the Pharisee's house and took his place at table, 37 suddenly a woman came in, who had a bad name in the town. She had heard he was dining with the Pharisee and had brought with her an alabaster jar of ointment. 38 She waited behind him at his feet, weeping, and her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them away with her hair; then she covered his feet with kisses and anointed them with the ointment.

39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, 'If this man were a prophet, he would know who this woman is and what sort of person it is who is touching him and what a bad name she has.' 40 Then Jesus took him up and said, 'Simon, I have something to say to you.' He replied, 'Say on, Master.' 41 'There was once a creditor who had two men in his debt; one owed him five hundred denarii, the other fifty. 42 They were unable to pay, so he let them both off. Which of them will love him more?' 43 Simon answered, 'The one who was let off more, I suppose.' Jesus said, 'You are right.' 44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, 'You see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 For this reason I tell you that her sins, many as they are, have been forgiven her, because she has shown such great love. It is someone who is forgiven little who shows little love.' 48 Then he said to her, 'Your sins are forgiven.' 49 Those who were with him at table began to say to themselves, 'Who is this man, that even forgives sins?' 50 But he said to the woman, 'Your faith has saved you; go in peace.'

8:1 Now it happened that after this he made his way through towns and villages preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve, 2 as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments: Mary surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3 Joanna the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their own resources.

3. A moment of prayerful silence so that the Word of God may penetrate and enlighten our life.

4. Some questions
to help us in our personal reflection.
a) What struck you most in the text? Why?
b) What does the woman do and how does she do it?
c) What is the Pharisee’s attitude towards Jesus and towards the woman: what does he do and say?
d) What is Jesus’ attitude towards the woman: what does he do and say?
e) The woman would not have done what she did unless she was absolutely certain that Jesus would welcome her. Do present day people who are marginalized have the same certainty in our regard as Christians?
f) Love and forgiveness. Who are the women who follow Jesus? What binds them together?
g) Jesus’ community: Who are the women who follow Jesus? What do they do?

5. For those who wish to go deeper into the theme
a) The literary and historical context of the text:
In chapter 7 of his Gospel, Luke describes the new and surprising things that happen among the people since Jesus’ proclamation of the Kingdom of God. In Capernaum, he praises the faith of the foreigner: “Amen I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith! (Lk 7:1-10). In Naim he raises the widow’s son from death (Lk 7:11-17). The way Jesus proclaims the Kingdom surprises the Jewish brethren so that even John the Baptist is surprised and sends word to ask: “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Lk 7:18-30). Jesus criticises the wavering of his adversaries: "They are like children who do not know what they want!" (cfr. Lk 7:31-35). And here, at the end of the chapter, that is our text (Lk 7:36 to 8:3), something else that is new begins to appear and to surprise in the Good News of the Kingdom: Jesus’ attitude towards women.

At the time of the New Testament in Palestine, women were marginalized. They took no part in the synagogue nor could they witness in public life. From the time of Ezra (IV century B.C.), resistance towards women kept growing as we note in the stories of Judith, Esther, Ruth, Naomi, Susanna, the Sulamite woman and many others. This resistance towards women did not find an echo in Jesus who welcomed them. In the episode of the woman with the ointment (Lk 7:36-50) we see anti-conformism in Jesus’ welcome of the woman. In the description of the community that was growing around Jesus (Lk 8:1-3), we see men and women gathered around Jesus, equal in standing as disciples.

b) A commentary on the text:
Luke 7:36-38: A woman washes Jesus’ feet in the house of a Pharisee
Three totally different persons meet: Jesus, a Pharisee and a woman who was said to be a sinner. Jesus is in Simon’s house, a Pharisee who had invited him to eat in his house. A woman comes in, kneels at Jesus’ feet, weeps, bathes his feet with her tears, loosens her hair to wipe Jesus’ feet, kisses them and anoints them with ointment. The act of loosening her hair in public was a sign of independence. This is the scene that causes the debate that follows.

Luke 7:39-40: The Pharisees’ reply and Jesus’ reply
Jesus does not retreat, does not reprove the woman but rather welcomes what she does. The woman is someone who, according to the observant Jews of the time, could not be welcomed. Seeing what was going on, the Pharisee criticises Jesus and condemns the woman: "This man, were he a prophet, would surely know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner!" In reply to the Pharisee’s provocation, Jesus tells a parable; a parable that will help the Pharisee and all of us to see the invisible call of the love of God who reveals himself in that scene.

Luke 7:41-43: The parable of the two debtors and the Pharisee’s reply
The parable recounts the following: A creditor had to debtors. One owed him 500 denarii and the other 50. A denarius was equivalent to a day’s wage. Thus the wages for fifty days! Neither of the two could pay. Both were forgiven. Which of them will love him more? The Pharisee replies: "He to whom he forgave more!" The parable presupposes that earlier, both the Pharisee and the woman had received some favour from Jesus. Now, in their attitude towards Jesus, they show their appreciation for the favour received. The Pharisee shows his love, his gratitude, by inviting Jesus to his house. The woman shows her love, her gratitude with her tears, with kisses and with the ointment. Which of these actions shows a greater love; eating or the kisses and ointment? Does the measure of one’s love depend on the size of the present offered?

Luke 7:44-47: Jesus applies the parable and defends the woman
When he had received the correct answer from the Pharisee, Jesus applied it to the situation which arose with the coming in of the woman during the meal. He defends the sinful woman against the criticism of the practising Jew. What Jesus is saying to the Pharisees of all times is this: "He to whom little is forgiven, loves little!" The personal security that I, the Pharisee, create for myself because of my observance of the laws of God and of the Church, frequently prevents me from experiencing the gratuitous love of a forgiving God. What matters is not the observance of the law as such, but the love with which I observe the law. Using the symbols of the love of the sinful woman, Jesus answers the Pharisee who considered himself just: «You see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. For this reason I tell you that her sins, many as they are, have been forgiven her, because she has shown such great love. It is someone who is forgiven little who shows little love». It is as if he said: "Simon, in spite of the banquet you offer me, you have little love!" Why? The prophet Jeremiah had once said that in the future, in the new covenant, “no longer will they need to teach their friends and kinsmen how to know the Lord. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the Lord, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more”. (Jer 31:34). It is awareness of being freely forgiven that makes one experience the love of God. When the Pharisee calls the woman a “sinner”, he is considering himself to be a just man who observes and practices the law. He is like the Pharisee from the other parable who said: “O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of men, robbers, dishonest, adulterers, or even like this publican” (Lk 18:11). Simon must have thought: “O God, I thank you because I am not like this sinful woman!” But the one who went home justified was not the Pharisee but the publican who had said: “Be merciful to me a sinner!” (Lk 18:14). From the beginning, Pharisees always consider themselves sinless, because in all things they observe the law of God, they go to Mass, pray, give alms and pay their taxes. They place their security in what they do for God, not in the love and the forgiveness of God towards them. That is why Simon, the Pharisee cannot experience the gratuitousness of God’s love.

Luke 7:48-50: Love generates forgiveness and forgiveness generates love
Jesus says to the woman: "Your sins are forgiven you." Then the guests begin to think: "Who is this who even forgives sins?" But Jesus says to the woman: "Your faith has saved you. Go and sin no more!" Here we see Jesus’ new attitude. He does not condemn but welcomes. It is faith that enables the woman to know herself and to accept herself and God. In her exchange with Jesus, a new force breaks forth in her that enables her to be reborn. An important question comes to our mind. Would the sinful woman in the city have done what she did had she not been absolutely certain that Jesus would welcome her? This means that for the poor people of Galilee in those days, Jesus was someone to be trusted absolutely! “We can trust him. He will welcome us!” Do the marginalized people of today have this same certainty towards us Christians?

Luke 8:1-3: The disciples of Jesus’ community
Jesus went to the villages and towns of Galilee, proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God and the twelve were with him. The expression “following Jesus” shows the condition of a disciple who follows the Master seeking to imitate his example and sharing in his fate. It is surprising that besides the men there were also women who “followed Jesus”. Luke places the men and women disciples on an equal level. He also says that the women served Jesus with their goods. Luke also mentions the names of some of these women disciples: Mary Magdalene, born in the city of Magdala. She had been delivered of seven demons. Joanna, the wife of Cuza, Herod Antipa’s procurator, who was governor of Galilee. Susanna and many others.

c) Further information:
i) Luke’s Gospel has always been considered the Gospel of women. Indeed, Luke is the one who most records occasions that show the relationship of Jesus with women. However, the novelty, the Good News concerning women, is not simply because of the many citations of their presence around Jesus, but in Jesus’ attitude towards them. Jesus touches them, allows them to touch him, without fear of being contaminated (Lk 7:39; 8:44-45.54). The difference between Jesus and the masters of the time is that Jesus accepts women as followers and disciples (Lk 8:2-3; 10”39). The liberating force of God, which acts in Jesus, raises women to assume their place of dignity (Lk 13:13). Jesus feels the suffering of the widow and joins in her sorrow (Lk 7:13). The work of the woman who prepares food, is seen by Jesus as a sign of the Kingdom (Lk 13:20-21). The persevering widow who fights for her rights is presented as a model of prayer (Lk 18:1-8), and the poor widow who shares her meagre goods with others is presented as the model of gift and of dedication (Lk 21:1-4). At a time when the witness of women was not considered valid, Jesus chooses women as witnesses of his death (Lk 23:49), of his burial (Lk 23:55-56) and of his resurrection (Lk 24:1-11.22-24).

ii) The Gospels record different lists of the names of the twelve disciples who followed Jesus. The names are not always the same, but there are always twelve names, evoking the twelve tribes of the new people of God. There were women who also followed Jesus, from Galilee to Jerusalem. Mark’s Gospel defines their attitude in three words, three verbs: following, serving, going up to Jerusalem (Mk 15:41). The Evangelists do not give a list of the women disciples who followed Jesus, but their names are known to this day through the pages of the Gospels, especially of Luke, and they are:: Mary Magdalene (Lk 8:3; 24:10); Joanna the wife of Chuza (Lk 8;,3); Susanna (Lk 8:3); Salome (Mk 15:45); Mary, James’ mother (Lk 24:10); Mary, Cleophas’ wife (Jn 19:25); Mary, the mother of Jesus (Jn 19:25).

6. Prayer: A hymn to Love (1 Cor 13:1-13)
Above all, love!
1 Though I command languages both human and angelic -- if I speak without love, I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing.
2 And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains -- if I am without love, I am nothing.
3 Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess, and even give up my body to be burned -- if I am without love, it will do me no good whatever.

4 Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, 5 it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. 6 Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. 7 It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes. 8 Love never comes to an end. But if there are prophecies, they will be done away with; if tongues, they will fall silent; and if knowledge, it will be done away with. 9 For we know only imperfectly, and we prophesy imperfectly; 10 but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will be done away with.

11 When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and see things as a child does, and think like a child; but now that I have become an adult, I have finished with all childish ways. 12 Now we see only reflections in a mirror, mere riddles, but then we shall be seeing face to face. Now I can know only imperfectly; but then I shall know just as fully as I am myself known.

13 As it is, these remain: faith, hope and love, the three of them; and the greatest of them is love.

7. Final Prayer
Lord Jesus, we thank for the word that has enabled us to understand better the will of the Father. May your Spirit enlighten our actions and grant us the strength to practice that which your Word has revealed to us. May we, like Mary, your mother, not only listen to but also practice the Word. You who live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites, www.ocarm.org.


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St Jean-Francois

Feast DayJune 16

Patron Saint:  Regis University  and lacemakers
Attributes:  n/a

Saint John Francis Regis
Jean-François Régis, known as Saint John Francis Regis and St. Regis, (31 January 1597 – 30 December 1640), was a French priest of the Society of Jesus, recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.[1]


Jean-François Régis was born in Fontcouverte, (Aude) in the Languedoc region of southern France. His father, Jean Régis, had recently been ennobled as a result of service rendered during the Wars of the League. His mother, Marguerite de Cugunhan, was of a noble family.[2] He was educated at the Jesuit College of Béziers. On 8 December 1616, in his nineteenth year, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Toulouse and he took his vows two years later.[3]

After finishing his course in rhetoric at Cahors, Régis was sent to teach grammar at several colleges: Billom (1619–1622), Puy-en-Velay (1625–1627), and Auch (1627–1628). While he was teaching, he also pursued his studies in philosophy at the scholasticate at Tournon. Owing to an intense love of preaching and teaching the Faith, as well as the desire to save souls,[4] Regis began his study of theology at Toulouse in 1628. Less than two years later, in 1630, he was ordained a priest at the age of thirty-one. The following year, having completed his studies, Regis made his Third Probation.[5]

Regis was now fully prepared for his lifework and entered upon his apostolic career in the summer of 1631. As a newly ordained priest, he worked with bubonic plague victims in Toulouse. From May 1632, until September 1634, his headquarters was at the Jesuit College of Montpellier. Here he labored for the conversion of the Huguenots, visited hospitals, assisted the needy, withdrew from vice wayward women and girls, and preached Catholic doctrine with tireless zeal to children and the poor.[6][7]

Regis established the Confraternities of the Blessed Sacrament, which organized charitable collections of money and food from the wealthy. He also established several hostels for prostitutes, and set up girls as lacemakers to give them an income.

In 1633, Régis went to the Diocese of Viviers at the invitation of the local bishop, Monsignor Louis II de la Baume de Suze, giving missions throughout the diocese.[8] From 1633 to 1640 he evangelized more than fifty districts in le Vivarais, le Forez, and le Velay.[9]

Regis laboured diligently on behalf of both priests and laymen. His preaching style was said to have been simple and direct. He appealed to the uneducated peasantry and numerous conversions resulted.[10] Although he longed to devote himself to the conversion of the indigenous inhabitants of Canada, he remained in France all his life.

Regis suffered incredible hardships throughout for his apostolic journeys over rugged mountains in the depths of winter, and did not allow anything to stand in his way in the salvation of souls.[11]

Death and later veneration

Régis succumbed to illness during the winter of 1640, while he was contemplating the conversion of the Cévennes.[12] He died of pneumonia at age forty-three on 30 December 1640, at Lalouvesc (Ardèche), in France's Dauphiné region.

John Francis Regis was beatified by Pope Clement XI on 18 May 1719, and canonized by Pope Clement XII on 5 April 1737.

He is the patron saint of lacemakers.

Regis University in Denver, Colorado is named in his honor, as is the Regis Campus of Saint Ignatius' College, Riverview, and numerous elementary and high schools worldwide, including Regis High School in New York City, Regis School of the Sacred Heart in Houston, Texas and Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado.

St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, where a Roman Catholic church named for him stands, is also named in his honor, due to his admiration for the native inhabitants of North America.[13]

Prayer of St. John Francis Regis 

for Purity

to Our Blessed Lady

My Queen and my Mother! to thee I offer myself without any reserve: and to give thee a mark of my devotion, I consecrate to thee during this day my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, and my whole person: Since I belong to thee, O my good Mother! preserve and defend me as thy property and possession. Amen.


  1. ^ Patron Saints Index (accessed 08-19-2005)
  2. ^  "St. John Francis Regis". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
  3. ^ "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year", edited by Rev. Hugo Hoever, S.O.Cist., Ph.D., New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1955, p. 229
  4. ^  "St. John Francis Regis". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
  5. ^ "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year", p. 230
  6. ^  "St. John Francis Regis". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
  7. ^ Phyllis G. Jestice Holy People of the World: A Cross-Cultural Encyclopedia - 2004 p164 "Others,such as Jean-François Régis,who focused his efforts on the Huguenots in the south of France, worked to strengthen the faith of the Christian communities of Europe."
  8. ^ "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year", p. 230
  9. ^  "St. John Francis Regis". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
  10. ^ "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year", p. 230
  11. ^ "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year", p. 230
  12. ^  "St. John Francis Regis". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
  13. ^ William C. Sturtevant Handbook of North American Indians 1978 p473 "It was named Saint Regis in memory of Jean Francois Regis, a French ecclesiastic canonized in 1737 who before his death in 1640 at the age of 43 had wanted to become a missionary to the Iroquois (Hough 1853:113-114). "

    Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


    Today's Snippet I: Ardeche, France

    Cévennes National Park in the Ardeche
    Ardèche  is a department in south-central France named after the Ardèche River. 

    Prehistoric and ancient history

    The area has been inhabited by humans at least since the Upper Paleolithic, as attested by the famous cave paintings at Chauvet Pont d'Arc. The plateau of the Ardeche River has extensive standing stones (dolmens and menhirs), erected thousands of years ago. The river is the largest natural canyon in Europe and the caves that dot the cliffs (which go as high as 300 m (1,000 feet) are known for signs of prehistoric inhabitants (arrowheads and flint knives are often found).

    The Vivarais, as the Ardèche is still called, takes its name and coat-of-arms from Viviers, which was the capital of the Gaulish tribe of Helvii, part of Gallia Narbonensis, after the destruction of their previous capital at Alba-la-Romaine. Saint Andéol, a disciple of St Polycarp, is supposed to have evangelized the Vivarais during the reign of Emperor Septimius Severus, and was supposedly martyred in 208. (Legend tells of Andéol's burial by Amycia Eucheria Tullia.) Auxonius, in 430, transferred the see to Viviers as a result of the problems suffered at its previous site in Alba Augusta.

    Medieval history

    The area of the Vivarais suffered greatly in the 9th century with raids from Magyar Hungary and Saracen slavers operating from the coast of Provence resulting in an overall depopulation of the region.

    In the early 10th century, economic recovery saw the building of many Romanesque churches in the region including Ailhon, Mercuer, St Julien du Serre, Balazuc, Niègles and Rochecolombe. The medieval county of Viviers or Vivarais at this time was administratively a part of the Kingdom of Arles, formed in 933 with the fusion by Rudolph II of Burgundy of the realms of Provence and Burgundy and bequeathed by its last monarch Rudolph III of Burgundy to the Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II in 1032. Locally throughout this period, the Church played an important role. John II (Giovanni of Siena), Cardinal and Bishop of Viviers (1073–95), accompanied Pope Urban II to the Council of Clermont. It was later held in fief by the Counts of Toulouse, who lost it to the French crown in 1229. In 1284, with the Cistercian Abbey of Marzan, Philip IV established Villeneuve de Berg, and by the treaty of 10 July 1305 Philip IV of France obliged the bishops of Vivarais to admit the sovereignty of the Kings of France over all their temporal domain. The realm was largely ignored by the Emperors and was finally granted to France as part of the domain of the Dauphin, the future Charles VII of Valois in 1308. During this period, the Maillard family, as Counts of Tournon, were influential in the Ardèche. During the Hundred Years War, the area maintained its loyalty to the French crown, despite frequent attacks from the west.

    Early modern history

    As a result of the reformation of John Calvin in Geneva, the Vivarais Ardèche was one of the areas which strongly embraced Protestantism partly as a result of the missionary activity of 1534 by Jacques Valery. During the following Wars of Religion (1562–1598), the Ardèche was considered a strategically important location between Protestant Geneva, Lyon and Catholic Languedoc. The region had prospered with the introduction of tobacco growing from America, and the agrarian experiments of Olivier de Serres, father of modern French agriculture. The influence of Protestant Lyon, and the growth of the silk industry, thanks to the planting of mulberry trees, had given the burghers of the Vivarais towns a certain independence of thinking, and with the support of the powerful Protestant Huguenots, the Comte de Crussol and Olivier de Serres the Vivarais became a Protestant stronghold. As a result, it suffered many attacks and eight pitched battles between 1562 and 1595. In 1598, the Edict of Nantes put an end to these struggles. At that time, the Vivarais had over 75 Protestant churches and five fortified strongholds with permanent garrisons. However, the problems of the area were not over. In 1629, Paule de Chambaud, daughter of the Huguenot lord of Privas, chose instead to marry a Catholic, the Vicomte de l'Estrange, who supported the persecution of Protestants by Cardinal Richelieu. Privas, with a majority of the population Protestant, refused to submit, and as a centre of the revolt of the Benjamin de Rohan, duc de Soubise, was burned to the ground by the forces of Louis XIII, sent to support the Vicomte de l'Estrange. As a result, one-fifth of the Protestant population of the Vivarais emigrated.

    The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, which finally outlawed Protestantism, resulted in the peasant family of Marie and Pierre Durand leading a revolt against royal authority. This led to the Camisard revolt of the Ardèche prophets. Louis XIV responded by dispatching Dragoons, who brutalised the population by "dragonnades", destroying a number of communities. The brutality of those years was enormous and peace was only restored in 1715. As a result of brutality on both sides, a further 50,000 Archèche Protestants left France, many fleeing to Switzerland, whilst others were forced into abjuration (conversion).

    In the following century, despite the growth of the community of Annonay, an increasing polarisation between the upper nobility families auch as Rohan Soubise, and Vogue, Count of Aubenas, possessing huge financial fortunes, and the lesser nobility, the village clergy and the bourgeoisie of the Vivarais paralleled developments elsewhere in France. Despite this, the sons of a local Annonay paper-maker, Joseph and Jacques Etienne Montgolfier ascended in the first hot air balloon over the town on 4 June 1783. The firm of Canson Mongolfier continues making paper to this day and on the anniversary every year on the first weekend in June a large hot air balloon gathering celebrates the event of the first journey. At the 200th anniversary in 1983, some 50 hot air balloons took part with the first historic flight reenacted with people dressed in period costume.

    Later modern history

    During the French Revolution, in 1789, with the Declaration of Human Rights, Ardèche Protestants were at last recognised as citizens in their own right, free at last to practise their faith. However, Catholicism continued to grow and by the early 19th century, the Ardèche included only 34,000 Protestants out of a population of 290,000. Named after the river of the same name, the Ardèche was one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. The support of Count François Antoine de Boissy d'Anglas representing the Third Estate of the Vivarais in the States General, the freeing of the serfs and the support of the lesser clergy of the church ensured that the Ardèchois had supported the early revolution, but they withdrew support when things became more radical. During the Reign of Terror, in 1794, a guilotine was kept busy with the execution of the former moderate supporters of the revolution at Privas. Under the Directory, bands of Chouans took to the Cevennes to escape and support former emigrés.
    With the Naploeonic period, the Ardèche entered a period of increasingly prosperous inconspicuousness. After a period of eclipse, Viviers was re-established in 1822 as the site of the see of the bishops of Ardèche, where it remains to this day.

    Throughout the 19th century, a modest economic growth took place. The population grew from 273,000 in 1793 to 388,500 in 1861. The silk worm industry boomed until 1855, when disease affected the worms and competition with China undermined the industry's profitability. Mining at Privas saw the exploitation of local iron ore, which was quickly depleted. As a result, six blast furnaces were established, but were only moderately profitable, the last closing at Pouzain in 1929.

    The scientific pioneer Marc Seguin, whose inventions played a key role in the development of early locomotives, was born in the department. However, Seguin located his business upstream near Lyon, and industrial development in the Ardèche remained relatively small scale. No large towns appeared in the department during the years of France's industrialisation, and its official population total of 388,500, reached in 1861, turned out to be a peak level which has not been matched subsequently.

    Since the 1860s, the Ardèche economy has been split between the prosperous Rhône valley and the relatively poor and mountainous Haut Vivarais on the western side of the department. Sheep farming did not lead to the prosperity hoped for and wine growing, which was badly hit by the phylloxera crisis during the closing decades of the 19th century, has had to compete with other more established areas of France.


    Pont d'Arc
    The department, corresponding to the ancient province of Vivarais, is part of the current region of Rhône-Alpes (Rôno-Arpes in Arpitan), of the administrative division of Languedoc and is surrounded by the French departments of Drôme, Vaucluse, Gard, Lozère, Haute-Loire, Loire and Isère. It is a land of great contrasts: at the lowest it is at a mere 40 metres of elevation above sea level at the point at which the Ardèche river flows into the Rhône (in the south east of the department) up to 1,754 metres at Mont Mézenc (Centre-west), it is bordered to the east by the length of the Rhône valley for 140 km and to the west by the high plateaus of the Massif Central.

    At its widest, the department does not exceed 75 km. It covers an area of 5,550 square kilometres, a size that hides the great diversity from place to place in terms of relief, the absence of access to rapid transport (unique in France) and the difficulties in transport from one part of the Ardeche to another, above all in winter. Privas shares this inaccessibility, being by road 589 km from Paris, 574 km from Strasbourg, 215 km from Marseille, 211 km from Annecy, 162 km from Chambéry, 147 km from Nîmes, 140 km from Lyon, 135 km from Grenoble, and 127 km from Saint-Etienne.

    Differing natural regions

    There are five natural regions of the Ardèche:
    • The mountains
    They border the western frontier of the department with an average altitude of 1,100 metres. Basically they are of granitic composition split by the Velay Basalts of the Massif of Mézenc, and the Forez Mounts, centred upon volcanic cones of ash, lava plugs and numerous magma flows (Mézenc: 1,754 metres; Gerbier de Jonc: 1,551 m). Their inclination slopes gently towards the west, thus leading to a westerly flow of water towards the Atlantic. Here the Loire has its source. Within a distance of a few kilometres is the volcanic lake of Issarlès (92 ha, 5 km in circumference, 108 m in depth). The climate is extreme: snow for many months, very violent winds over autumn and winter (known locally as "la burle"), frequent fogs in the valleys, extreme falls of temperature between the seasons, with heavy rains (1,500 mm per year in average) strongly concentrated in September and October.
    • The plateaus of the Haut-Vivarais and the Cévennes
    The transition zone descending from the mountains (1,200 m) to the valley of the Rhône (300 to 400 m), is the plateau region. The medium altitude of the plateau is one of green forested crests separated by wild and uncrossable gorges. Hydrographic resources are dominated by these torrential streams and rainfall is characterised by the frequent importance of summer showers, with climate much less extreme than that of the mountains to the west.
    • The Bas-Vivarais
    The Ardèche river flows as far as the Rhône, following a course generally to the south east. This Karst region is formed of calcareous limestones, where the streams flow in steep-sided valleys separated by sharp crests. With a generally low altitude the Bas-Vivarais enjoys a warm, and dry, almost Mediterranean climate. Skies are wide and bright, temperatures more elevated (3 or 4 °C in January). The winds from the north-east are dominant, but those of the south (known as the "vent du midi") and of the west are full of humidity, bringing heavy precipitation for a few days at a time. The few rivers, the Lavezon, Escoutay, and Frayol, provide less of a hydrological resource than one sees in the crysaline granitic areas to the north. This is the country of the vine, of shrubland, of cereals and extensive fruit trees (this is the region of Aubenas and of Joyeuse).
    • The plateau of the Coirons
    This plateau with an altitude of 800 metres above sea level, is completely surrounded to the north by the valleys of the Ouvèze and the Payre, to the south by the valley of the Escoutay, to the west by the Col of the Escrinet and the valley of Vesseaux. It is built of basalt which extends in length 18 km in the direction of the Rhône, and at its widest is a maximum 11 km in width. The climate here is also fairly extreme: snow, without being thick, is frequent, variations of temperature accentuated by the fact of the strong cold winds that blow. The soil is rich and fertile. Farming is dominated by the growing of wheat, oats and potatoes, dominates, with the raising of goats and cattle. On the slopes one finds vines and fruit trees.
    • The valley of the Rhône
    The Rhône corridor is very strait on the right bank which runs almost at the foot of the Vivarais plateaus, leaving tiny plains where the rivers from the Vivarais descend to the Rhône. Here the strong wind of the north, (known as the mistral) dominates. Nevertheless the temperatures are moderated by the influence of the "Midi" to the south. The small plains are very fertile and favourable to orchards (peaches and apricots) at first and on the slopes the vines dominate.

    Maps of different types of agricultural products translate clearly into these five regions. "The true character of the Ardèche is" according to A. Siegfried, "of a slope turning towards the Mediterranean, open to the influences coming from the Midi. These influences climb the length of the valleys to the summit of the high plateau, which resists their passage, not letting them penetrate. The high and the low are thus opposed, such is the character of the Ardèche personality."


    The inhabitants of the department are called Ardéchois. As one of the poorer districts in France, emigration from the Ardèche outnumbered immigrants for a long time, although this situation has recently changed. In 1990, Ardèche reached once again the population level it had 50 years earlier. Today, the population numbers 286,000 (compared to 390,000 in 1860). Despite this demographic recovery, the area remains marked by a rural exodus which minimises the effects of a higher than average birth rate. Despite this, the rate of natural increase is practically non-existent, as the Ardèche also has a higher than average median age amongst Ardèche born inhabitants, and thus also a higher than average death rate.

    Ardèche has a low population of foreign born immigrants, found almost exclusively in the tourist locations of Largentière, Le Pouzin and Bourg-Saint-Andéol. They number about 11,000, representing a mere 4% of the population. During the summer months, many European tourists visit the Ardèche, principally Dutch and Germans staying at camping sites.

    Some 50% of the population of the department lives in rural communities, compared to a national average of 75% of the French population living in urban locations. The Ardèche has an average population density of 52 per km², compared to 122 per km² for the Rhône-Alpes region and 104 per km² in France. Population density is highest in the regions around the two towns of Annonay and Aubenas and along the edge of the Rhône valley. The mountainous areas is much less densely populated with only 6 to 7 inhabitants per km² in the cantons of Saint-Etienne-de-Lugdarès and Valgorge. As the mountains and the plateau continue to depopulate, those of the Rhône valley, Bas-Vivarais and lower Ardèche are continuing to grow, but the population situation, whilst better than in the past, still remains an issue for the region.

    The Rhône valley and the Annonay region, close to the main axes of communication, (Highways and the TGV railway) are the most urbanised areas of the department. Here the natural growth in population is everywhere positive. Annonay, Tournon-sur-Rhône and Guilherand-Granges benefit from the proximity of the nearby town of Valence and the economically more advanced department of la Drôme. In the southern interior with the town of Aubenas and the valley of the Ardèche river, the population of the cantons of Villeneuve-de-Berg and of Vallon-Pont-d'Arc grow at four times the speed of the departmental average.

    The high plateau and the mountainous areas as far as Privas continue to lose its young population (the median age of the population as a whole is growing more elderly as a result of the weakness of the power of this region to attract new permanent inhabitants). For example, le Cheylard and Lamastre have recently lost 300 and 250 inhabitants respectively.

    Tourist attractions

    Lions painting in the Chauvet cave
    The Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave in the Ardèche department of southern France is a cave that contains some of the earliest known cave paintings, as well as other evidence of Upper Paleolithic life. It is located near the commune of Vallon-Pont-d'Arc on a limestone cliff above the former bed of the Ardèche River. Discovered on December 18, 1994, it is considered one of the most significant prehistoric art sites. 
    The cave was first explored by a group of three speleologists: Eliette Brunel-Deschamps, Christian Hillaire, and Jean-Marie Chauvet, for whom it was named. Chauvet (1996) has a detailed account of the discovery. In addition to the paintings and other human evidence, they also discovered fossilized remains, prints, and markings from a variety of animals, some of which are now extinct. Further study by French archaeologist Jean Clottes has revealed much about the site. The dates have been a matter of dispute but a study published in 2012 supports placing the art in the Aurignacian period, approximately 30,000–32,000 BP.


    The cave is situated above the previous course of the Ardèche River before the Pont d'Arc opened up. It was founded by the famous French explorer Everly la Man. The gorges of the Ardèche region are the site of numerous caves, many of them having some geological or archaeological importance. The Chauvet Cave is uncharacteristically large and the quality, quantity, and condition of the artwork found on its walls have been called spectacular. Based on radiocarbon dating, the cave appears to have been used by humans during two distinct periods: the Aurignacian and the Gravettian. Most of the artwork dates to the earlier, Aurignacian, era (30,000 to 32,000 years ago). The later Gravettian occupation, which occurred 25,000 to 27,000 years ago, left little but a child's footprints, the charred remains of ancient hearths, and carbon smoke stains from torches that lit the caves. After the child's visit to the cave, evidence suggests that due to a landslide which covered its historical entrance, the cave had been untouched until it was discovered in 1994. The footprints may be the oldest human footprints that can be dated accurately.

    The soft, clay-like floor of the cave retains the paw prints of cave bears along with large, rounded, depressions that are believed to be the "nests" where the bears slept. Fossilized bones are abundant and include the skulls of cave bears and the horned skull of an ibex.


    Paintings in the Chauvet Cave
    Hundreds of animal paintings have been catalogued, depicting at least 13 different species, including some rarely or never found in other ice age paintings. Rather than depicting only the familiar herbivores that predominate in Paleolithic cave art, i.e. horses, cattle, mammoths, etc., the walls of the Chauvet Cave feature many predatory animals, e.g., cave lions, panthers, bears, and cave hyenas.

    Typical of most cave art, there are no paintings of complete human figures, although there is one partial "Venus" figure composed of a vulva attached to an incomplete pair of legs. Above the Venus, and in contact with it, is a bison head, which has led some to describe the composite drawing as a Minotaur. There are a few panels of red ochre hand prints and hand stencils made by spitting pigment over hands pressed against the cave surface. Abstract markings—lines and dots—are found throughout the cave. There are also two unidentifiable images that have a vaguely butterfly or avian shape to them. This combination of subjects has led some students of prehistoric art and cultures to believe that there was a ritual, shamanic, or magical aspect to these paintings.[5]

    The artists who produced these unique paintings used techniques rarely found in other cave art. Many of the paintings appear to have been made only after the walls were scraped clear of debris and concretions, leaving a smoother and noticeably lighter area upon which the artists worked. Similarly, a three-dimensional quality and the suggestion of movement are achieved by incising or etching around the outlines of certain figures. The art is also exceptional for its time for including "scenes", e.g., animals interacting with each other; a pair of woolly rhinoceroses, for example, are seen butting horns in an apparent contest for territory or mating rights.

    The cave contains some of the oldest known cave paintings, based on radiocarbon dating of "black from drawings, from torch marks and from the floors", according to Jean Clottes. Clottes concludes that the "dates fall into two groups, one centered around 27,000–26,000 BP and the other around 32,000–30,000 BP."[1] As of 1999, the dates of 31 samples from the cave had been reported. The earliest, sample Gifa 99776 from "zone 10", dates to 32,900 ± 490 BP.[6]

    Some archaeologists have questioned these dates. Christian Züchner, relying on stylistic comparisons with similar paintings at other well-dated sites, expressed the opinion that the red paintings are from the Gravettian period (c. 28,000–23,000 BP) and the black paintings are from the Early Magdalenian period (early part of c. 18,000–10,000 BP). Pettitt and Bahn also contended that the dating is inconsistent with the traditional stylistic sequence and that there is uncertainty about the source of the charcoal used in the drawings and the extent of surface contamination on the exposed rock surfaces. Stylistic studies showed that some Gravettian engravings are superimposed on black paintings proving the paintings' older origins.

    By 2011, more than 80 radiocarbon dates had been taken, with samples from torch marks and from the paintings themselves, as well as from animal bones and charcoal found on the cave floor. The radiocarbon dates from these samples suggest that there were two periods of creation in Chauvet: 35,000 years ago and 30,000 years ago.

    A research article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in May 2012 by scientists from the University of Savoy, Aix-Marseille University and the Centre National de Prehistoire confirmed that the paintings were created by people in the Aurignacian era, between 30,000 and 32,000 years ago. The researchers’ findings are based on the analysis using geomorphological and 36Cl dating of the rockslide surfaces around what is believed to be the cave’s only entrance. Their analysis showed that the entrance was sealed by a collapsing cliff some 29,000 years ago. Their findings put the date of human presence in the cave and the paintings in line with that deduced from radiocarbon dating, i.e., between 30,000–32,000 years BP.
     The cave has been sealed off to the public since its discovery in 1994. Access is severely restricted owing to the experience with decorated caves such as Lascaux found in the 20th century, where the admission of visitors on a large scale led to the growth of mold on the walls that damaged the art in places. A facsimile of Chauvet Cave, on the model of the so-called "Faux Lascaux", is planned to open to the general public in 2014


    • Chauvet, Jean-Marie; Eliette Brunel Deschamps, Christian Hillaire (1996). Dawn of Art: The Chauvet Cave. Paul G. Bahn (Foreword), Jean Clottes (Epilogue). New York: Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 0-8109-3232-6. English translation by Paul G. Bahn from the French edition La Grotte Chauvet
    •  Clottes, Jean (2003a). Return To Chauvet Cave, Excavating the Birthplace of Art: The First Full Report. Thames & Hudson. p. 232. ISBN 0-500-51119-5. 
    • Clottes, Jean (2003b). Chauvet Cave: The Art of Earliest Times. Paul G. Bahn (translator). University of Utah Press. ISBN 0-87480-758-1. Translation of La Grotte Chauvet, l'art des origins, Éditions du Seuil, 2001.
    • Du Boys, Albert (1842). Album du Vivarais, ou itinéraire historique et descriptif de cette ancienne province [Album of the Vivarais, or historic and descriptive guidebook of this ancient province] (in French). Prudhomme. p. 192. Retrieved 13 June 2011. "S'il faut en croire l'antique legende, le corps de l'apotre [...] fut recueilli par une vierge de l'une des premieres familles du Vivarais, Anycia ou Amycia Eucheria Tullia, fille du senateur Eucherius Valerianus [...] Sainte Amycie fit creuser dans le roc un oratoire, ou elle deposa les restes de Saint Andeol"  


     Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part Three: Life in Christ

    Section One: Man's Vocation Life in The Spirit


    Article 5:2  The Morality of Passions- Passions and Moral Life

    1699 Life in the Holy Spirit fulfills the vocation of man (chapter one). This life is made up of divine charity and human solidarity (chapter two). It is graciously offered as salvation (chapter three).

    1700 The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God (article 1); it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude (article 2). It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment (article 3). By his deliberate actions (article 4), the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience (article 5). Human beings make their own contribution to their interior growth; they make their whole sentient and spiritual lives into means of this growth (article 6). With the help of grace they grow in virtue (article 7), avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal son Lk 15:11-32 to the mercy of our Father in heaven (article 8). In this way they attain to the perfection of charity.

    Article 5
    1762 The human person is ordered to beatitude by his deliberate acts: the passions or feelings he experiences can dispose him to it and contribute to it.

    II. Passions and Moral Life
    1767 In themselves passions are neither good nor evil. They are morally qualified only to the extent that they effectively engage reason and will. Passions are said to be voluntary, "either because they are commanded by the will or because the will does not place obstacles in their way."St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 24, 1 corp. art It belongs to the perfection of the moral or human good that the passions be governed by reason.St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 24, 3

    1768 Strong feelings are not decisive for the morality or the holiness of persons; they are simply the inexhaustible reservoir of images and affections in which the moral life is expressed. Passions are morally good when they contribute to a good action, evil in the opposite case. the upright will orders the movements of the senses it appropriates to the good and to beatitude; an evil will succumbs to disordered passions and exacerbates them. Emotions and feelings can be taken up into the virtues or perverted by the vices.

    1769 In the Christian life, the Holy Spirit himself accomplishes his work by mobilizing the whole being, with all its sorrows, fears and sadness, as is visible in the Lord's agony and passion. In Christ human feelings are able to reach their consummation in charity and divine beatitude.

    1770 Moral perfection consists in man's being moved to the good not by his will alone, but also by his sensitive appetite, as in the words of the psalm: "My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God."Ps 84:2