Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Atrocious, Psalms 128:1-5, Tobit 6:11; 7:1; 9-14; 8:4-7, Mark 12:28-34 , Pope Francis Daily Homily - The Dangers of Idolatry, St. Norbert , Xanten Germany, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life In Christ

Thursday,  June 6, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Atrocious, Psalms 128:1-5, Tobit 6:11; 7:1; 9-14; 8:4-7, Mark 12:28-34 , Pope Francis Daily Homily - The Dangers of Idolatry, St. Norbert , Xanten Germany, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life  In Christ

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: Thursday in Easter

Rosary - Luminous Mysteries


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis June 6 General Audience Address :

The Dangers of  idolatry

(2013-06-06 Vatican Radio)
Everyone has "small or not so small" idolatries in their lives, but the road that leads to God is one of exclusive love for Him, as Jesus taught us. This was the focus of Pope Francis’ morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta Friday.

As is custom the Pope reflected on the daily readings and the Gospel episode that recounts the scribe who approached Jesus to ask which, in his opinion, "is the first of all the commandments". Pope Francis noted that the scribe’s intentions were probably “far from innocent”, that he gives the impression of wanting to "test" Christ, if not to "make him fall into a trap". The scribe approves of Jesus’ answer – where he quotes from the bible: " Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone!"- and Christ responds with the comment: “You are not far from the kingdom of God". Pope Francis said that, in essence, with that "you are not far" Jesus wanted to say to the scribe: "You know the theory very well," but "you are still some distance from the Kingdom of God", that is, you have to walk to “transform this commandment into reality”, because we “profess God through our way of life":

"It’s not enough to say: 'But I believe in God, God is the only God.' That’s fine, but how do you live this out in your life’s journey? Because we can say, 'The Lord is the only God, there is no other', but then live as if He was not the only God and have other deities at our disposal ... There is a danger of ' idolatry: idolatry, which is brought to us through the spirit of the world. And in this Jesus was clear: the spirit of the world, no. At the Last Supper he asks the Father to defend us from the spirit of the world, because the spirit of the world leads us to idolatry. "

Pope Francis continued: "Idolatry is subtle…we all have our hidden idols" and "the path of life to follow, to not be far from the kingdom of God" involves "discovering our hidden idols." The Pope pointed out that this attitude is already present in the Bible, in the episode in which Rachel, Jacob's wife, pretends she is not carrying idols which instead she took from her father's house and hid in her saddle. Pope Francis said that we too “have hid them in our saddle ... But we have to look for them and we have to destroy them," because to follow God the only path is that of a love based on "loyalty":

"And loyalty demands we drive out our idols, that we uncover them: they are hidden in our personality, in our way of life. But these are hidden idols mean that we are not faithful in love. The Apostle James, when he says, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God, begins by saying: 'Adulterers!'. He gives out to us, but with that adjective: adulterers. Why? Because whoever is 'friend' of the world is an idolater, is not faithful to the love of God! The path that is not distant, that advances, moves forward in the Kingdom of God, is a path of loyalty which resembles that of married love. "

Pope Francis then asked, even "with our small or not so small idolatries" how is it possible not to be faithful "to a love so great?". To do this, you need to trust in Christ, who is "total loyalty" and who "loves us so much"

"We can now ask Jesus: 'Lord, you who are so good, teach me to be this path so that every day I may be less distant from the kingdom of God, this path to drive out all of my idols'. It is difficult, but we must begin ... The idols hidden in the many saddles, which we have in our personalities, in the way we live: drive out the idol of worldliness, which leads us to become enemies of God. We ask this grace of Jesus, today. "


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 06/06/2013.


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:  atrocious  a·tro·cious  [uh-troh-shuhs]  

Origin:  1660–70; atroci(ty) + -ous
1. extremely or shockingly wicked, cruel, or brutal: an atrocious crime.
2. shockingly bad or tasteless; dreadful; abominable: an atrocious painting; atrocious manners.


Today's Old Testament Reading -   Psalms 128:1-5

1 [Song of Ascents] How blessed are all who fear Yahweh, who walk in his ways!
2 Your own labours will yield you a living, happy and prosperous will you be.
3 Your wife a fruitful vine in the inner places of your house. Your children round your table like shoots of an olive tree.
4 Such are the blessings that fall on those who fear Yahweh.
5 May Yahweh bless you from Zion! May you see Jerusalem prosper all the days of your life,


Today's Epistle -  Tobit 6:11; 7:1, 9-14; 8:4-7

11 when Raphael said to the boy, 'Brother Tobias.' 'Yes?' he replied. The angel went on, 'Tonight we are to stay with Raguel, who is a kinsman of yours. He has a daughter called Sarah,
1 As they entered Ecbatana, Tobias said, 'Brother Azarias, take me at once to our brother Raguel's.' And he showed him the way to the house of Raguel, whom they found sitting beside his courtyard door. They greeted him first, and he replied, 'Welcome and greetings, brothers.'
9 Raguel killed a ram from the flock, and they gave them a warm welcome. They washed and bathed and sat down to table. Then Tobias said to Raphael, 'Brother Azarias, will you ask Raguel to give me my sister Sarah?'
10 Raguel overheard the words, and said to the young man, 'Eat and drink, and make the most of your evening; no one else has the right to take my daughter Sarah -- no one but you, my brother. In any case even I am not at liberty to give her to anyone else, since you are her next of kin. However, my boy, I must be frank with you:
11 I have tried to find a husband for her seven times among our kinsmen, and all of them have died the first evening, on going to her room. But for the present, my boy, eat and drink; the Lord will grant you his grace and peace.' Tobias spoke out, 'I will not hear of eating and drinking till you have come to a decision about me.' Raguel answered, 'Very well. Since, by the prescription of the Book of Moses she is given to you, Heaven itself decrees she shall be yours. I therefore entrust your sister to you. From now on you are her brother and she is your sister. She is given to you from today for ever. The Lord of heaven favour you tonight, my child, and grant you his grace and peace.'
12 Raguel called for his daughter Sarah, took her by the hand and gave her to Tobias with these words, 'I entrust her to you; the law and the ruling recorded in the Book of Moses assign her to you as your wife. Take her; bring her home safe and sound to your father's house. The God of heaven grant you a good journey in peace.
13 Then he turned to her mother and asked her to fetch him writing paper. He drew up the marriage contract, and so he gave his daughter as bride to Tobias according to the ordinance of the Law of Moses.
14 After this they began to eat and drink.
4 The parents meanwhile had gone out and shut the door behind them. Tobias rose from the bed, and said to Sarah, 'Get up, my sister! You and I must pray and petition our Lord to win his grace and his protection.'
5 She stood up, and they began praying for protection, and this was how he began: You are blessed, O God of our fathers; blessed too is your name for ever and ever. Let the heavens bless you and all things you have made for evermore.
6 You it was who created Adam, you who created Eve his wife to be his help and support; and from these two the human race was born. You it was who said, 'It is not right that the man should be alone; let us make him a helper like him.'
7 And so I take my sister not for any lustful motive, but I do it in singleness of heart. Be kind enough to have pity on her and on me and bring us to old age together.


Today's Gospel Reading - Mark 12:28b-34

One of the scribes put a question to Jesus, 'Which is the first of all the commandments?' Jesus replied, 'This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one, only Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.' The scribe said to him, 'Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true, that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any burnt offering or sacrifice.' Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, 'You are not far from the kingdom of God.' And after that no one dared to question him any more.

• The Gospel today presents a beautiful conversation between Jesus and a Doctor of the Law. The doctor wants to know from Jesus which is the first of all the commandments. Today, also many persons want to know what is most important in religion. Some say: to be baptized. Others, to pray. Others say: to go to Mass or to participate in the worship on Sunday. Others say: to love your neighbour! Others are worried about the appearance or the charges or tasks in the Church.

• Mark 12, 28: The question of the Doctor of the Law. A doctor of the Law, who had seen the debate of Jesus with the Sadducees (Mk 12,23-27), was pleased with the response of Jesus, and he perceives in him a great intelligence and wants to profit of this occasion to ask him a question: Which is the first one of all the commandments?” At that time the Jews had an enormous number of norms which regulated, in practice, the observance of the Ten Commandments of the Law of God. Some said: “All these norms have the same value, because they all come from God. It does not belong to us to introduce distinctions in the things of God”. Others would say: “Some Laws are more important than others, that is why they oblige more!” The Doctor wanted to know Jesus’ opinion.

• Mark 12, 29-31: The response of Jesus. Jesus responds by quoting a passage of the Bible to say that the first commandment is “to love God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your strength!” (Dt 6, 4-5). At the time of Jesus, the pious Jews made of this text of Deuteronomy a prayer which they recited three times a day: in the morning, at noon and in the evening. Among them it was known as today we know the Our Father. And Jesus adds, quoting the Bible again: the second one is this: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other more important commandment than this one”. (Lev 19,18). A brief and profound response! It is the summary of all that Jesus has taught about God and about life (Mt 7, 12).

• Mark 12, 32-33: The answer of the doctor of the Law. The Doctor agrees with Jesus and draws the conclusion: “To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself; this is far more important than any burnt offering or sacrifice”. In other words, the commandment of love is more important than the commandments related to worship and sacrifice in the Temple. This affirmation was already used by the prophets of the Old Testament (Ho 6, 6; Ps 40, 6-8; Ps 51, 16-17). Today, we would say that the practice of love is more important than novenas, promises, Masses, prayers, and processions.

• Mark 12, 34: The summary of the Kingdom. Jesus confirms the conclusion reached by the Doctor and says: “You are not far from the Kingdom of God!” In fact, the Kingdom of God consists in recognizing that love toward God is equal to the love of neighbour. Because if God is Father, we all are sisters and brothers and should show this in practice, living in community. "On these two commandments depend the Law and the prophets” (Mt 22, 4). The disciples must keep in mind, fix in their memory, in their intelligence, in the heart, in the hands and in the feet this important law of love: God is only attained through the total gift of self to our neighbour!

• The first and most important commandment. The most important and first commandment was and will always be: “to love God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mk 12,30). In the measure in which the People of God, throughout the centuries, has deepened the meaning and the importance of the love of God, it has become aware that God’s love is true and real only in the measure in which it is made concrete in the love to neighbour. And thus, the second commandment which asks for the love for neighbour, is similar to the first commandment of God’s love (Mt 22, 39; Mk 12, 31). “Anyone who says I love God, and hates his brother, is a liar” (1 Jn 4, 20). “On these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets too” (Mt 22, 40).

Personal questions
• For you, what is more important in religion and in life? Which are the concrete difficulties that you find, in order to be able to live that which you consider more important?
• Jesus tells the doctor: “You are not far from the Kingdom of God”. Today, am I nearer or farther away from the Kingdom of God than the doctor praised by Jesus?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St Norbert

Feast DayJune 6

Patron Saint:  safe delivery
Attributes: monstrance; cross with two beams

St Norbert of Xanten
Norbert of Xanten (c. 1080 – 6 June 1134) was a bishop of the Catholic Church, founder of the Premonstratensian order of canons regular, and is venerated as a saint.

 Saint Norbert was born in Xanten on the left bank of the Rhine, near Wesel, in the Electorate of Cologne. He grew up there and was also educated there. His father, Heribert, Count of Gennep, was related to the imperial house of Germany and the House of Lorraine. His mother was Hedwig of Guise. Ordained as a subdeacon, Norbert was appointed to a canonry at Xanten where he lived a life of pleasure. Soon after, he was summoned to the court of Frederick of Cologne and later to that of Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor, where he became the emperor's almoner (a church officer in charge of distributing charity). He avoided ordination to the priesthood and even declined an appointment as bishop of Cambrai in 1113. Following a near-fatal horse-riding accident, his faith deepened and he renounced his appointment at Court. He returned to Xanten to lead a life of penance, placing himself under the direction of Cono, Abbot of St Sigeberg, near Cologne. In 1115, Norbert founded the Abbey of Fürstenberg[disambiguation needed], endowed it with a portion of his property, and made it over to Cono of Siegburg and his Benedictine successors. He was ordained to the priesthood soon afterward.

St Norbert attempted to reform the other canons of Xanten, but his asceticism did not sit well with them and they denounced him at the Council of Fritzlar in 1118. He then resigned his benefice, sold all his property and gave the proceeds to the poor. He visited Pope Gelasius II, who gave him permission to become an itinerant preacher and he preached throughout northern France, being credited with a number of miracles.

Norbert (on the right) receives the Augustinian Rule from Saint Augustine. From the "Vita Sancti Norberti," 12th century manuscript.
At the Council of Reims in October, 1119, Pope Calixtus II requested Norbert to found a religious order in the Diocese of Laon in France. In 1120, Norbert chose a valley in the Forest of Coucy (a grant from the Bishop of Laon), about 10 miles from Laon, named Prémontré. Blessed Hugh of Fosses, Saint Evermode, Antony of Nivelles, seven students of the celebrated school of Anselm, and Ralph of Laon were among his first thirteen disciples. By the next year the community had grown to 40. They all took their vows and the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré was founded. The young community at first lived in huts of wood and clay, arranged like a camp around the chapel of Saint John the Baptist, but they soon built a larger church and a monastery for the religious who joined them in increasing numbers. Going to Cologne to obtain relics for their church, Norbert is said to have discovered, through a dream, the spot where those of Saint Ursula and her companions, of Saint Gereon, and of other martyrs lay hidden.[2] In 1125, the constitution for the order was approved by Pope Honorius II.

St Norbert gained adherents in Germany, France, Belgium and Transylvania, and houses of his order were founded in Floreffe, Viviers, St-Josse, Ardenne, Cuissy, Laon, Liège, Antwerp, Varlar, Kappenberg, Grosswardein (Oradea/Nagyvarad) and elsewhere. Count Theobald II of Champagne wanted to enter the new order, but Norbert counseled him to remain a layman and marry. Norbert prepared for him a set of religious practices to follow in his secular life. This was the first instance of a lay third order (tertiary) known in the Church. He continued to preach throughout France, Belgium and Germany and was successful in combatting a eucharistic heresy in Antwerp proposed by one Tanchelm.

Norbert was appointed to the Archbishopric of Magdeburg by Pope Honorius II in 1126. Several assassination attempts were made as he began to reform the lax discipline of his see. He was especially vigilant in protecting the Church's rights against the secular power.

In the schism following the election of Pope Innocent II in 1130, Norbert supported Innocent and resisted Antipope Anacletus II. In Norbert's last years, he was chancellor and adviser to Lothair II, the Holy Roman Emperor, persuading him to lead an army in 1133 to Rome to restore Innocent to the papacy.


Statue of Saint Norbert (middle) on the Charles Bridge, Prague. On the left is Saint Wenceslas, while on the right is Saint Sigismund.
When Norbert died in Magdeburg on June 6, 1134, both the canons at the cathedral and the canons at St. Mary's Abbey claimed the body. The two parties resorted to Lothair III who decreed the body should be buried in the Norbertine Abbey. In 1524, Martin Luther preached in the city and, as a result, Magdeburg became a Protestant city. Numerous attempts were made over the centuries by the Abbey of Strahov in Prague to retrieve the saint's body. Only after several military defeats at the hand of Emperor Ferdinand II was the abbot of Strahov able to claim the body. On May 2, 1627, the body was finally brought to Prague where it remains to this day, displayed as an auto-icon in a glass-fronted tomb.

Saint Norbert was canonized by Pope Gregory XIII in the year 1582, and his statue appears above the Piazza colonnade of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.


  1. ^ a b Norbert von Xanten - Ökumenisches Heiligenlexikon
  2. ^ Daniello Bartoli (1855). History of the Life and Institute of St. Ignatius de Loyola: Founder of the Society of Jesus (Original from the New York Public Library, 2006 ed.). E. Dunigan. p. 324. ""God has sometimes announced beforehand the rise, works, and merits, whether of certain Orders whom He has sent to the assistance of His Church or of their founders. We find examples of this in the dream He made known... ... in the seven rays of light which appeared to St. Norbert, surrounding the head of the crucified Redeemer, and the pilgrims who came to him from the uttermost extremities of the earth;...""
  • The Life and Miracles of St. Norbert
  • Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Norbert
  • Founder Statue in St Peter's Basilica
  • (German) Norbert von Xanten (von Prémontré

    Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


    Today's Snippet I:  Xanten, Germany

    "Klever Tor" in Xanten.
    Xanten (German pronunciation: [ˈksantən], Lower Franconian Santen) is a historic town in the North Rhine-Westphalia state of Germany, located in the district of Wesel.

    Xanten is known for the Archaeological Park, one of the largest archaeological open air museums in the world, its medieval picturesque city centre with Xanten Cathedral and many museums, its large man-made lake for various watersport activities as well as high standard of living.

    It is visited by approximately one million tourists a year. Big events include the Xantener Sommerfestspiele (a prestigious classical music festival lasting 2 weeks every summer), the annual Xantener Montmartre where artists from all over the world show their latest works as well as the annual German sandcastle-building championship.


    Xanten, the only German town whose name begins with X, is made up of three districts: Hochbruch, Niederbruch, and the city centre. Other localities belonging to the city of Xanten include Birten, Lüttingen, Marienbaum, Vynen, Obermörmter, Wardt, Mörmter, Willich, Beek, and Ursel. Parts of a nature reserve called Bislicher Insel belong to the city as well.

    The city borders the Lower Rhine and the city of Rees to the north, the city of Wesel to the east, the municipalities of Alpen and Sonsbeck to the south, and the cities of Uedem and Kalkar to the west.

    The closest international (European) airport is Airport Weeze, (also called Niederrhein Airport; Ryanair hub) is in Weeze (25 km); the closest intercontinental airport is Düsseldorf International Airport (60 km)



    Colonia Ulpia Traiana, Tricensimae, Archäologischer Park Xanten
    First settlements by isolated tribes can be dated around the year 2000 BC. Around 15 BC the Roman camp Castra Vetera was created on the Fürstenberg near modern-day Birten. It was intended as a base for campaigns into Germania and until its destruction during the Revolt of the Batavi in 70 AD it was occupied by 8,000 to 10,000 legionaries, and was the main base of the Classis germanica.

    After the destruction of Castra Vetera a second camp became established at the Bislicher Insel, named Castra Vetera II, which became the base camp of Legio VI Victrix. A nearby created settlement, which was inhabited by 10,000 to 15,000 usually former legionaries, was given the rights of a Colonia in 110 by the Roman emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus, who renamed the city into Colonia Ulpia Traiana. The Colonia was a completely new city with a city wall and other buildings like an amphitheater. For this city the settlement was destroyed completely. The colonia became the second most important commercial post in the province of Germania Inferior, only surpassed by Colonia Agrippinensis (today's Cologne). In 122, Vetera II became the camp of Legio XXX Ulpia Victrix, which substituted VI Victrix which had moved to Britannia.

    In 275 the colonia was almost destroyed by Germanic tribes. Thereupon in 310 BC on the area of the Colonia a new city was established, named Tricensimae, which was on the nine central Insula of the former Colonia but fortified and more easily defended. At the beginning of the 5th century, assaults by Germanic tribes rapidly increased, with the result that Tricensimae was finally given up.

    In 363 The Christian Viktor of Xanten is supposed to have been executed together with 360 further members of the Theban Legion near the modern town of Birten, as they refused to sacrifice to the Roman gods. Since then Viktor of Xanten has been declared a martyr by the Roman Catholic Church, and the patron saint of the cathedral established over his assumed burial place.

    Middle Ages 

    In the 5th century the Franks began to settle in the area of today's Xanten, but they did not found any urban settlements because the Franks didn't build with stones like the romans. The only found some graves.

    According to the legend of the Nibelungs, Siegfried of Xanten was born on ze Santen an dem Rhîne.

    In the second half of the 8th Century a church was built on the grounds of an old cemetery of the ancient Roman colony and called Sanctos (super Rhenum) (also mentioned as ad Sanctum). The name of "place of saints" was derived from the assumed grave of the martyr Viktor of Xanten and is the source of today's city name of Xanten. After the establishment of a convent to the south, what became today's town centre grew into existence.

    In 939 troops under Otto I, King of Germany defeated rebellious Franconian, Saxon and Lotharingian troops under Eberhard of Franconia in the Battle of Birten near Xanten. Following the Battle of Andernach the same year the Rhineland was reaffirmed to the kingdom of Otto I.

    While Xanten, with its rich Viktor Convent, was still being besieged by the Norsemen in 863, in 1122 the place already appears as part of a trading network at the Lower Rhine. On 15 July 1228, Xanten was given city rights by the Archbishop of Cologne, Heinrich of Molenark.

    Xanten had a Jewish community in early medieval times. Two massacres of Jews occurred during the First Crusade, on (1 and 27 June 1096). On the latter occasion some Jews committed suicide in order to escape the fury of the Crusaders.

    In 982 the foundation stone for the Gothic St. Victor cathedral was laid. After 281 years of construction it was finally completed in 1263. At the end of the 14th Century, Xanten was surrounded by a city wall.

    In 1392 the northern part of the city came into the possession of the dukes of Cleves, while the southern part was still possessed by the Archbishopric of Cologne. The division of Xanten was a cause of a conflict between Cleves and Cologne, which ended when the whole of Xanten was awarded to the Duchy of Cleves in 1444.

    Early Modern period

    After being taken by the dukes of Cleves, in the wake of war and crop failure, the number of inhabitants slumped from 5,000 at the beginning of the 16th Century to approximately 2,500 by the end of the 18th Century. The Rhine had been a basis of Xanten's status as a trading city until the river bed shifted away from the city, causing its economic situation to deteriorate. The river even flooded and destroyed the locality of Birten several times.

    The section Marienbaum, however, became the main place of pilgrimage on the Lower Rhine between 1430 and 1441. In 1460 a monastery of the Bridgettines was established, with an abbey church called St. Mariä Himmelfahrt (Assumption of Mary) which nowadays serves as a parish church.

    In the 17th century Xanten was with Cleves inherited by the Margraviate of Brandenburg. Protestantism was placed on an equal footing with the Roman Catholic Church, as confirmed by the Treaty of Xanten on 12 November 1614. Thereupon a church was built at the Großer Markt (Great market place), which was expanded with a spire in 1622. Nevertheless, at the beginning of the 20th century only 5% of the population were of Protestant denomination. By the beginning of the 21st century, the Protestant population had increased to some 20%.

    Modern times 

    Reconstructed corner of the Hafentempel (harbor temple) in Archäologischer Park Xanten
    In 1802 the Viktor-convent was secularized by Napoléon Bonaparte, and the libraries of closed monasteries and the convent library were merged. After this the economic situation deteriorated more rapidly. A city gate called the Marstor was torn down in 1821, and the Scharntor and parts of the city walls were removed in 1825. The removal of the Klever Tor and a mill called Kriemhildmühle was prevented by a city councillor in 1843. At the same time the ruins of the Colonia Ulpia Traiana, which had been used as a quarry since the Roman settlement was given up, aroused the interest of archaeologists.

    Xanten was administered within the Prussian Rhine Province from 1822-1945. Between 1819 and 1844 excavation was carried out. In September 1927, the Catholic Church municipality celebrated its 1,600th anniversary; in 1937 Pope Pius XI granted the right for the cathedral of St. Viktor to be called a basilica minor.

    In the later part of the 19th century the attention of the Jewish world was centred on the small congregation of Xanten because of a case of alleged ritual murder. On 29 June 1891, John Hegemann, the five-year-old son of a local cabinet maker, was found dead in a neighbour's barn, with his throat cut from ear to ear. Anti-Semitic agitation connected the Jewish butcher and former shoḥeṭ Adolf Buschoff with this crime; and the local priest, Father Bresser, lent support to this rumour by publishing articles on ritual murder in the paper Bote für Stadt und Land, which he edited. The agitation in the anti-Semitic press, as well as at anti-semitic meetings, where it was insinuated that the Jews had bribed or intimidated the authorities in order to prevent the discovery of the truth, compelled the government to arrest Buschoff and his family (14 October 1891). The evidence against the man, who had always borne a good reputation, was so flimsy, however, that he was discharged (20 December). This action aroused the anti-Semites to still stronger agitation, which culminated in a heated debate in the Prussian Diet. In the course of this argument Stoecker, the ex-court chaplain, repeated the accusation of ritual murder, and hinted at Jewish influence as the cause of the failure to find the murderer (7 February 1892). Under pressure from this agitation, Buschoff was rearrested (8 February), and tried before a jury at Cleves (4–14 July 1892). During this trial it was found that the accusations were based on mere hearsay, and contained impossible assertions. The prosecuting attorney himself moved for the dismissal of the charge, and the jury rendered its verdict accordingly. The real murderer was never discovered, and the possibility that the death of the child was due to an accident was not entirely disproved. The agitation had the effect of reducing the Jewish population of the city, and Buschoff himself had to leave. In 1905 Xanten had about thirty Jews out of a total population of 3,770.

    In 1933 mayor Heinrich Wagner was locked up in a tower called the Meerturm, accused of alleged nepotism in the loan business. His successor was Friedrich Karl Schöneborn, while the post of deputy mayor was given to Heinrich Prang junior. Prang had already created a local group of the NSDAP in 1925. As the local council of the Deutsche Zentrumspartei was dissolved, three of formerly eight city council members were group members of the NSDAP. The remaining opposition consisted of communists and liberal politicians lacking a clear political mandate.

    The following years saw harassment of the Jewish population of Xanten. This included the destruction of the local prayer room and the devastation of several dwellings of Jewish inhabitants on 9 November 1938. After these events the entire Jewish population fled Xanten. During the Second World War an ammunition factory of the Luftwaffe was established in a small forest close to the city, called Die Hees. While citizens of Xanten worked there at the beginning of the war, women and children, and especially foreigners were forced to perform hard labour at the plant as the war progressed. Incidents in the area of the factory occurred in November 1942 and October 1944, causing the explosion of a portion of the stored ammunition, which cost several workers' lives. In May 1940, the German 256th infantry division was transferred to Xanten to take part in the forthcoming invasion of the Netherlands.
    When allied troops reached Xanten in February 1945, mayor Schöneborn left the city. With him fled almost the entire city administration to areas to the east. In the same month the bombardment of the city had begun, killing civilians and destroying parts of Xanten. In addition, the cathedral was hit by bombs and damaged heavily. On 8 March 1945, Xanten was finally taken by Canadian troops. The Canadian military lost, according to their own data, 400 soldiers in the fight against the defending Fallschirmjäger (paratroops) under the command of Eugen Meindl. Thereupon the city, 85% of which had been already been destroyed, was occupied by British troops while the population was evacuated to Bedburg-Hau in preparation for the crossing of the Rhine near the city of Wesel. Artillery projectiles fired by German soldiers from the right bank of the Rhine further devastated Xanten at this time. When the crossing of the Rhine on 24 March 1945 finally succeeded, the Second World War was over for Xanten.

    The reconstruction of the city and the cathedral was accomplished particularly by the archaeologist and monument conservationist Walter Bader, and lasted until 1966. Expellees from eastern Prussia that were resettled in Xanten caused the population to rise by almost 40%. In the course of the local re-organization in 1969, the localities Birten, Lüttingen, Marienbaum, Obermörmter, Vynen and Wardt were integrated into Xanten, so that around 16,000 inhabitants lived within the city boundaries. The area of the city increased from 8 km² to 72 km².

    In 1975 the Archäologischer Park Xanten (Archaeological Park Xanten), a partial reconstruction of the Roman Colonia Ulpia Traiana, was established and opened for tourism. It is built on the site of the Roman town. Today it is one of the most frequently visited parks in Germany. Among other events there even the popular TV-show Wetten dass..? has taken place in the APX. In 2012 the Archaeological Park was expanded to nearly the whole area of the roman Colonia after the Bundesstraße 57 moved away from the middle of the area. Further different historical buildings in the town centre were restored, and today in Xanten there is one of the most beautiful city centres in Germany, with many shops, restaurants and cafes in a medieval atmosphere. At the Xantener Südsee and Xantener Nordsee, two lakes connected by a channel close to the localities Wardt and Vynen, the Freizeitzentrum Xanten (Leisure center Xanten) was established in 1982. Today, it is a popular destination for sailors. On 28 November 1988 Xanten, received the title of a Staatlich anerkannter Erholungsort (state-recognized leisure city) as the first such city in the governmental district of Düsseldorf. Between 1990 and 2004 the number of inhabitants rose from 16.930 to about 22000. Xanten is twinned with Geel/Belgium, Saintes/France and Salisbury in the United Kingdom.

    Xanten Cathedral

    Xanten Cathedral (German: Xantener Dom), sometimes called St. Victor's Cathedral (German: St. Viktor Dom), is a Roman Catholic church situated in Xanten, a historic town in the lower Rhine area, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is considered the biggest cathedral between Cologne and the sea. In 1936 it was declared a minor basilica by Pope Pius XI. Even though the church is called a cathedral it has never been the seat of a bishop.

    Xanten Cathedral (interior)
    The cathedral owes its name to Victor of Xanten, a member of the Theban Legion who was supposedly executed in the 4th century in the amphitheater of Castra Vetera for refusing to sacrifice to the Roman gods. This Roman camp is near today's town of Birten. According to legend, Helena of Constantinople recovered the bones of Victor and his legion and erected a chapel in their honour. During a modern excavation the existence of a 4th-century cella memoriae was discovered; however, it was determined that it had not been erected for Victor but for two other male corpses that were placed in the crypt at a later date.

    The cornerstone of the cathedral was laid in 1263 by Friedrich and Konrad von Hochstaden. Construction lasted 281 years and was finally finished with the dedication of the Holy Spirit Chapel (German: Heiliger-Geist-Kapelle) in the year 1544. The cathedral contains a five-aisle nave built in the Gothic style. In contrast to many other cathedrals of the period, St. Victor's lacks an ambulatory. Instead a twin pair of chapels is connected to the choir similar to that seen at the Church of Our Lady (German: Liebfrauenkirche) in Trier. Along with the monasterial library of the Cathedral houses one of the most important religious libraries of the Lower Rhine. Today the cathedral is the seat of the auxiliary bishop Heinrich Janssen who presides over the Lower Rhine part of the Diocese of Münster.


    • Aronius, "Regesten," p. 89, No. 188; p. 92, No. 195). In 1187 the martyrs of Neuss were brought to Xanten to be buried by the side of those martyred in 1096 (ib. p. 144, No. 322)
    • Mittheilungen aus dem Verein zur Abwehr des Antisemitismus, 1892, Index, s.v. Xanten and Buschoff;
    • Allg. Zeit. des Jud. 1892, Nos. 29-31;
    • Der Prozess Buschoff, Leipsig, 1892;
    • Nathan, Der Prozess Buschoff, Berlin, 1892;
    • Der Prozess Xanten-Cleve, ib. 1892;
    • Der Xantener Knabenmord vor dem Schwurgericht zu Cleve, 4-14 Juli, 1892, Berlin, 1893 (a complete stenographic record).
    • Holger Schmenk: Xanten im 19. Jahrhundert. Eine rheinische Kleinstadt zwischen Tradition und Moderne (Köln / Weimar / Wien: Böhlau 2008).
    • ^ Chow, Gabriel. "Basilicas in Germany". Giga-Catholic Information. Retrieved 2013-06-06.


     Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part Three: Life in Christ

    Section One: Man's Vocation Life in The Spirit


    Part Three

    1691 "Christian, recognize your dignity and, now that you share in God's own nature, do not return to your former base condition by sinning. Remember who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Never forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of the Kingdom of God."St. Leo the Great Sermo 22 in nat. Dom., 3: PL 54, 192C.

    1692 The Symbol of the faith confesses the greatness of God's gifts to man in his work of creation, and even more in redemption and sanctification. What faith confesses, the sacraments communicate: by the sacraments of rebirth, Christians have become "children of God,"Jn 1:12; 1 Jn 3:1[ETML:C/]. "partakers of the divine nature."2 Pet 1:4 Coming to see in the faith their new dignity, Christians are called to lead henceforth a life "worthy of the gospel of Christ."Phil 1:27 They are made capable of doing so by the grace of Christ and the gifts of his Spirit, which they receive through the sacraments and through prayer.

    1693 Christ Jesus always did what was pleasing to the Father,Jn 8:29 and always lived in perfect communion with him. Likewise Christ's disciples are invited to live in the sight of the Father "who sees in secret,"Mt 6:6[ETML:C/] in order to become "perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect."Mt 5:48

    1694 Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, Christians are "dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus" and so participate in the life of the Risen Lord.Rom 6:11 and cf. 6:5; cf. Col 2:12 Following Christ and united with him,Jn 15:5 Christians can strive to be "imitators of God as beloved children, and walk in love"Eph 5:1-2 by conforming their thoughts, words and actions to the "mind . . . which is yours in Christ Jesus,"Phil 2:5 and by following his example.Jn 13:12-16

    1695 "Justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God,"2 Cor 6:11 "sanctified . . . (and) called to be saints,"1 Cor 1:2 Christians have become the temple of the Holy Spirit.1 Cor 6:19. This "Spirit of the Son" teaches them to pray to the FatherGal 4:6 and, having become their life, prompts them to act so as to bear "the fruit of the Spirit"Gal 5:22, 25 by charity in action. Healing the wounds of sin, the Holy Spirit renews us interiorly through a spiritual transformation.Eph 4:23 He enlightens and strengthens us to live as "children of light" through "all that is good and right and true."Eph 5:8, 9

    1696 The way of Christ "leads to life"; a contrary way "leads to destruction."Mt 7:13; cf. Deut 30: 15-20 The Gospel parable of the two ways remains ever present in the catechesis of the Church; it shows the importance of moral decisions for our salvation: "There are two ways, the one of life, the other of death; but between the two, there is a great difference."Didache 1, 1: SCh 248, 140

    1697 Catechesis has to reveal in all clarity the joy and the demands of the way of Christ.John Paul II, CT 29 Catechesis for the "newness of life"Rom 6:4 in him should be:

    -a catechesis of the Holy Spirit, the interior Master of life according to Christ, a gentle guest and friend who inspires, guides, corrects, and strengthens this life;
    -a catechesis of grace, for it is by grace that we are saved and again it is by grace that our works can bear fruit for eternal life;
    -a catechesis of the beatitudes, for the way of Christ is summed up in the beatitudes, the only path that leads to the eternal beatitude for which the human heart longs;
    -a catechesis of sin and forgiveness, for unless man acknowledges that he is a sinner he cannot know the truth about himself, which is a condition for acting justly; and without the offer of forgiveness he would not be able to bear this truth;
    -a catechesis of the human virtues which causes one to grasp the beauty and attraction of right dispositions towards goodness;
    -a catechesis of the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and charity, generously inspired by the example of the saints; -a catechesis of the twofold commandment of charity set forth in the Decalogue;
    -an ecclesial catechesis, for it is through the manifold exchanges of "spiritual goods" in the "communion of saints" that Christian life can grow, develop, and be communicated.

    1698 The first and last point of reference of this catechesis will always be Jesus Christ himself, who is "the way, and the truth, and the life."Jn 14:6 It is by looking to him in faith that Christ's faithful can hope that he himself fulfills his promises in them, and that, by loving him with the same love with which he has loved them, they may perform works in keeping with their dignity:

    I ask you to consider that our Lord Jesus Christ is your true head, and that you are one of his members. He belongs to you as the head belongs to its members; all that is his is yours: his spirit, his heart, his body and soul, and all his faculties. You must make use of all these as of your own, to serve, praise, love, and glorify God. You belong to him, as members belong to their head. and so he longs for you to use all that is in you, as if it were his own, for the service and glory of the Father.St. John Eudes, Tract. de admirabili corde Jesu, 1, 5

    For to me, to live is Christ.Phil 1:21