Sunday, June 23, 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Poverty, Psalms 146:2-9, Second Corinthians 8:1-9, Matthew 5:43-48 , Pope Francis Daily Homily - Its Hard to Love your Enemies, St. Elisabeth of Shonau, Duchy of Nassau Germany , Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life In Christ Section 1 The Dignity of the Human Person Article 6:2 The Formation of Conscience

Tuesday,  June 18, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Poverty, Psalms 146:2-9, Second Corinthians 8:1-9, Matthew 5:43-48 , Pope Francis Daily Homily - Its Hard to Love your Enemies, St. Elisabeth of Shonau, Duchy of Nassau Germany , Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life  In Christ Section 1 The Dignity of the Human Person Article 6:2 The Formation of Conscience

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'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: Tuesday in Ordinary Time

Rosary - Sorrowful Mysteries


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis June 18 General Audience Address :

The hard lesson of loving our enemies

(2013-06-18 Vatican Radio)
It is hard to love our enemies, but that is exactly what God is asking us to do, said Pope Francis at Mass Tuesday morning. He said we must pray for those who hate us and have done us wrong, ‘that their heart of stone be turned to flesh, that they may feel relief and love’. God lets sun shine and rain fall on the good and the bad, on the just and the unjust and, the Pope added, we must do the same or else we are not being Christian.

Pope Francis began his homily, with a series of questions that encompassed some of the most pressing dramas of humanity. How can we love our enemies? The Pope asked, how can we love those who decide to “bomb and kill so many people?" And again, how can we "love those who out of their for love money prevent the elderly from accessing the necessary medicine and leave them to die"? Or those who only seek "their own best interests, power for themselves and do so much evil?" "It seems hard to love your enemy," he noted, but Jesus asks it of us. This current liturgy, he said, proposes "Jesus’ updating of the law", of the law of Mount Sinai with the Law of the Mount of Beatitudes. The Pope also pointed out that we all have enemies, but deep down we too we can become enemies of others:

"We too often we become enemies of others: we do not wish them well. And Jesus tells us to love our enemies! And this is not easy! It is not easy ... we even think that Jesus is asking too much of us! We leave this to the cloistered nuns, who are holy, we leave this for some holy soul, but this is not right for everyday life. But it must be right! Jesus says: 'No, we must do this! Because otherwise you will be like the tax collectors, like pagans. Not Christians. '"

So how can we love our enemies? Pope Francis noted that Jesus, "tells us two things": first look to the Father who "makes the sun rise on evil and good" and "rain fall on the just and unjust”. God "loves everyone." And then he continued, Jesus tells us to be "perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect", "imitate the Father with that perfection of love." He added Jesus "forgive his enemies", "does everything to forgive them”. He warned that taking revenge is not Christian. The Pope asks But how can we succeed in loving our enemies? By praying. "When we pray for what makes us suffer - the Pope said - it is as if the Lord comes with oil and prepares our hearts for peace":

"Pray! This is what Jesus advises us:' Pray for your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! Pray! '. And say to God: 'Change their hearts. They have a heart of stone, but change it, give them a heart of flesh, so that they may feel relief and love '. Let me just ask this question and let each of us answer it in our own heart: 'Do I pray for my enemies? Do I pray for those who do not love me? 'If we say' yes', I will say, 'Go on, pray more, you are on the right path! If the answer is' no ', the Lord says:' Poor thing. You too are an enemy of others! '. Pray that the Lord may change the hearts of those. We could say: 'But this person really wronged me', or they have done bad things and this impoverishes people, impoverishes humanity. And following this libe of thought we want to take revenge or that eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth".

Pope Francis reaffirmed, it’s true that love for our enemies "impoverishes us”, because it makes us poor "like Jesus", who, when he came to us, lowered himself and became poor" for us. The Pope noted that some could argue this was not a good deal "if the enemy makes me poorer" and of course, "according to the criteria of this world, it is not a good deal." But this, he said, is "the path Jesus travelled" who from rich became poor for us. In this poverty, "in this Jesus’ lowering of himself – he said - there is the grace that has justified us all, made us all rich." It is the "mystery of salvation":

"With forgiveness, with love for our enemy, we become poorer: love impoverishes us, but that poverty is the seed of fertility and love for others. Just as the poverty of Jesus became the grace of salvation for all of us, great wealth ... Let us think today at Mass, let us think of our enemies those who do not wish us well: it would be nice if we offered the Mass for them: Jesus, Jesus' sacrifice, for them, for those who do not love us. And for us too, so that the Lord teaches us this wisdom which is so hard, but so beautiful, because it makes us look like the Father, like our Father: it brings out the sun for everyone, good and bad. It makes us more like the Son, Jesus, who in his humiliation became poor to enrich us, with his poverty. "


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:

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 06/18/2013.


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:  poverty  pov·er·ty  [pov-er-tee]  

Origin:  1125–75; Middle English poverte  < Old French  < Latin paupertāt-  (stem of paupertās ) small means, moderate circumstances. See pauper, -ty2
1.  the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support; condition of being poor. privation, neediness, destitution, indigence, pauperism, penury. riches, wealth, plenty.
2. deficiency of necessary or desirable ingredients, qualities, etc.: poverty of the soil. thinness, poorness, insufficiency.
3. scantiness; insufficiency: Their efforts to stamp out disease were hampered by a poverty of medical supplies. meagerness, inadequacy, sparseness, shortage, paucity, dearth. abundance, surfeit, sufficiency, bounty, glut.


Today's Old Testament Reading - Psalms 146:2, 5-9

2 I will praise Yahweh all my life, I will make music to my God as long as I live.
5 How blessed is he who has Jacob's God to help him, his hope is in Yahweh his God,
6 who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them. He keeps faith for ever,
7 gives justice to the oppressed, gives food to the hungry; Yahweh sets prisoners free.
8 Yahweh gives sight to the blind, lifts up those who are bowed down.
9 Yahweh protects the stranger, he sustains the orphan and the widow. Yahweh loves the upright,but he frustrates the wicked.


Today's Epistle -  Second Corinthians 8:1-9

1 Next, brothers, we will tell you of the grace of God which has been granted to the churches of Macedonia,
2 and how, throughout continual ordeals of hardship, their unfailing joy and their intense poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.
3 I can testify that it was of their own accord that they made their gift, which was not merely as far as their resources would allow, but well beyond their resources;
4 and they had kept imploring us most insistently for the privilege of a share in the fellowship of service to God's holy people-
5 it was not something that we expected of them, but it began by their offering themselves to the Lord and to us at the prompting of the will of God.
6 In the end we urged Titus, since he had already made a beginning, also to bring this work of generosity to completion among you.
7 More, as you are rich in everything-faith, eloquence, understanding, concern for everything, and love for us too -- then make sure that you excel in this work of generosity too.
8 I am not saying this as an order, but testing the genuineness of your love against the concern of others.
9 You are well aware of the generosity which our Lord Jesus Christ had, that, although he was rich, he became poor for your sake, so that you should become rich through his poverty.


Today's Gospel Reading - Matthew 5:43-48

Jesus said to his disciples: 'You have heard how it was said, You will love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; so that you may be children of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on the bad as well as the good, and sends down rain to fall on the upright and the wicked alike. For if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even the tax collectors do as much? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Do not even the gentiles do as much? You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.'

• In today’s Gospel we get to the summit of the Mountain of the Beatitudes, where Jesus proclaimed the Law of the Kingdom of God, the ideal of which can be summarized in this lapidarian phrase: “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5, 48) Jesus was correcting the Law of God! Five times, one after another, he had already affirmed: “It was said, but I say to you!” (Mt 5, 21.27, 31.33.38). This was a sign of great courage on his part, in public, before all the people gathered there, to correct the most sacred treasure of the people, the origin of their identity, which was the Law of God. Jesus wants to communicate a new way of looking and of practicing the Law of God. The key, so as to be able to get this new look, is the affirmation: “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”. Never will anyone be able to say: “Today I have been perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect!” We are always below the measure which Jesus has placed before us. Perhaps, because of this, he has placed before us an ideal which is impossible for us mortal beings to attain?

• Matthew 5, 43-45: It was said: You will love your neighbour and hate your enemy. In this phrase Jesus explains the mentality with which the Scribes explained the Law; a mentality which resulted from the divisions among the Jews and the non Jews, between neighbour and non neighbour, between saint and sinner, between the clean and the unclean, etc. Jesus orders to overthrow this pretence, these interested divisions. He orders to overcome divisions. “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you! So that you may be children of your Father in Heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on the bad as well as the good, and sends down rain to fall on the upright and the wicked alike”. And from here we draw from the source from which springs the novelty of the Kingdom. This source is proper to God who is recognized as Father, who causes his sun to rise on the bad as well as the good. Jesus orders that we imitate this God: “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (5, 48). And, it is in imitating this God that we can create a just society, radically new:

• Matthew 5,46-48: Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect. Everything is summarized in imitating God: "But I say to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in Heaven who causes the sun to rise on the bad as well as on the good, and sends down rain to fall on the upright and the wicked alike. For if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even the tax collectors do as much? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Do not even the gentiles do as much? Therefore, you be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5, 43-48). Love is the beginning and the end of everything. There is no greater love than to give one’s life for the brother (Jn 15, 13). Jesus imitated the Father and revealed his love. Every gesture, every word of Jesus, from his birth until the hour of his death on the cross, it was an expression of this creative love which does not depend on the gift received, neither does it discriminate the other because of race, sex, religion or social class, but which comes from wishing well in a completely gratuitous way. This was continually growing, from birth until his death on the Cross.

The full manifestation of the creative love in Jesus. This was when on the Cross he offered forgiveness to the soldier who tortured him and killed him. The soldier, employed by the Empire, placed the wrist of Jesus on the arm of the Cross, placed a nail and began to hammer. He hammered several times. The blood fell flowing down. The body of Jesus twisted with pain. The mercenary soldier, ignorant of what he was doing and of what was happening around him, continued to hammer as if it was a nail on the wall to hang a picture. At that moment Jesus addresses this prayer to the Father: “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing!” (Lk 23, 34). In spite of all the will of men, the lack of humanity did not succeed to extinguish humanity in Jesus. They take him, they mock him, they spit on his face, they scoff him, they make of him a clown king with a crown of thorns on the head, they scourged him, torture him, make him walk on the streets as if he were a criminal, he has to listen to the insults of the religious authority, on Calvary they leave him completely naked at the sight of all. But the poison of lack of humanity does not succeed to reach the source of humanity which sprang from the Heart of Jesus. The water which sprang from within was stronger than the poison from without, wanting to contaminate everything. Looking at that ignorant and rude soldier, Jesus felt compassion for the soldier and prayed for him and for all: “Father, forgive them!” And he adds even an excuse: “They are ignorant. They do not know what they are doing!” Before the Father, Jesus is in solidarity with those who torture him and ill treat him. Like the brother who sees his murder brothers before the judge and he, victim of his own brothers, tells the judge: “You know they are my brothers. They are ignorant. Forgive them. They will become better!” It was as if Jesus was afraid that the minimum anger against man could extinguish in him the remaining humanity which still existed. This unbelievable gesture of humanity and of faith in the possibility of recovering that soldier has been the greatest revelation of the love of God. Jesus can die: “It is fulfilled!” And bowing his head he gave up his spirit (Jn 19, 30). In this way he fulfilled the prophecy of the Suffering Servant (Is 53).

Personal questions
• Which is the most profound reason for the effort which you make to observe God’s Law: to merit salvation or to thank for God who in his immense goodness has created you, keeps you alive and saves you?
• What meaning do you give to the phrase: “to be perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St Elisabeth of Schonau

Feast DayJune 18

Patron Saint:  

Altar of St. Elizabeth of Schönau (with the reliquary in which Elizabeth's skull is kept) in the monastery church of St. Florin, Kloster Schönau im Taunus
Elisabeth of Schönau (1129 – 18 June 1165) was a German Benedictine visionary. When her writings were published, the title of "Saint" was added to her name. She was never canonized, but in 1584 her name was entered in the Roman Martyrology and has remained there. Her feast day is June 18.

Elizabeth was born of an obscure family, entered the double monastery of Schönau in Nassau at the age of twelve, received the Benedictine habit, made her profession in 1147, and in 1157 became superioress of the nuns under the Abbot Hildelin.

Her hagiography describes her as given to works of piety from her youth, much afflicted with bodily and mental suffering, a zealous observer of the Rule of Saint Benedict and of the regulation of her convent, and devoted to practices of mortification. In the years 1147 to 1152 Elizabeth suffered recurrent disease, anxiety and depression as a result of her strict asceticism. St. Hildegard of Bingen admonished Elizabeth in letters to be prudent in the ascetic life.

In 1152, after a period of deep depression, Elizabeth began to experience ecstatic visions of various kinds. These generally occurred on Sundays and Holy Days at Mass or Divine Office or after hearing or reading the lives of saints. She reported that Christ, the Virgin Mary, an angel, or the special saint of the day would appear to her and instruct her; or she would see quite realistic representations of the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension, or other scenes of the Old and New Testaments.

She died on June 18, 1165. After her death she was buried in the abbey church of St. Florin.


What Elizabeth saw and heard she put down on wax tablets. Her abbot, Hildelin, told her to relate these things to her brother Egbert (or Eckebert), then a priest at the church of Bonn, who acted as an editor. At first she hesitated fearing lest she be deceived or be looked upon as a deceiver; but she obeyed. Egbert (who became a monk of Schönau in 1155 and eventually succeeded Hildelin as second abbot) put everything in writing, later arranged the material at leisure, and then published all under his sister's name. The events in the first book probably took place before Hildelin intervened and told her to write these things down, while the things in the later books may have been after this point in time and occurred when Elizabeth had already begun writing.[1]

Thus came into existence three books of "Visions". Of these the first is written in language very simple and in unaffected style. The other two are more elaborate and replete with theological terminology.
  • "Liber viarum Dei". This seems to be an imitation of the Scivias (scire vias Domini) of St. Hildegarde of Bingen, her friend and correspondent. It contains admonitions to all classes of society, to the clergy and laity, to the married and unmarried. Here the influence of Egbert is plain. She utters prophetic threats of judgment against priests who are unfaithful shepherds of the flock of Christ, against the avarice and worldliness of the monks who only wear the garb of poverty and self-denial, against the vices of the laity, and against bishops and superiors delinquent in their duty; she urges all to combat earnestly the heresy of the Cathari; she declares Victor IV, the antipope supported by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I against Pope Alexander III, as the one chosen of God. All of this appears in Egbert's own writings.
  • The revelation on the martyrdom of St. Ursula and her companions. This is full of fantastic exaggerations and anachronisms, but has become the foundation of the subsequent Ursula legends.
The first diary opens with an account of the devil appearing to her in various forms to torment her. She wrote down many supposed conversations between herself and the saints, Mary, her guardian angel and occasionally God Himself.

On one occasion of religious frustration and fear, she wrote down an experience she supposedly had at a mass on a Saturday when the Blessed Virgin was being celebrated, when she saw in the heavens "an image of a regal woman, standing on high, clothed in white vestments and wrapped with a purple mantle".[2] The lady then eventually came closer to Elizabeth and blessed her with the sign of the cross, and reassured her that she would not be harmed by the things she had been frightened of. After receiving communion at the mass, she then went into an ecstatic trance and had another vision, declaring "I saw my Lady standing beside the altar, in a garment like a priestly chasuble and she had on her head a glorious crown".[3] In her third text, she has Mary acting as an intercessor to hold back the anger of her Son from punishing the world in His anger for sin.[4]


Because the population soon venerated Elizabeth as a saint, her bones were reburied between 1420 to 1430 in a special chapel. This chapel was destroyed in the great fire of the Schönau Abbey in 1723 and not rebuilt.
During the Thirty Years War Swedish and Hessian soldiers attacked Schönau Monastery. The Swedes expelled the monks, plundered the monastery, broke into the grave of Elizabeth, and scattered her bones. Only the skull was saved. It is now preserved in a reliquary on the right side of the altar of the church.

The parish of St. Florin Schönau Monastery annually celebrates the traditional Elisabethen-Fest on the Sunday after June 18.


There is a great diversity of opinion in regard to her revelations. The Church has never passed sentence upon them nor even examined them. Elizabeth herself was convinced of their supernatural character, as she states in a letter to Hildegard; her brother held the same opinion. Trithemius considers them genuine; Eusebius Amort (De revelationibus visionibus et apparitionibus privatis regulae tutae, etc., Augsburg, 1744) holds them to be nothing more than what Elizabeth's own imagination could produce, or illusions of the devil, since in some things they disagree with history and with other revelations (Acta Sanctorum, October, IX, 81).


  • Complete edition of her writings, in Latin, by Ferdinand Wilhelm Emil Roth (Brunn, 1884).
  • In English, her writings are available as Elisabeth of Schönau: the complete works, translated and introduced by Anne L. Clark; preface by Barbara Newman, (New York: Paulist Press, 2000)
  • The German translation is: Peter Dinzelbacher, Die Werke der Heiligen Elisabeth von Schönau, Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh, 2006, 188 pages, ISBN 3-506-72937-3
  • Translations have been published in Italian (Venice, 1859), French (Tournai, 1864), and in Icelandic (1226–1254).


  • Butler, Lives of the Saints
  • Streber in Kirchenlex., s.v.
  • Hauck, Kirchengesch. Deutsche., IV, 244 sqq.
  • Wilhelm Preger, Geschichte der deutschen Mystik im Mittelalter (1874–93), 1, 37
  • Acta Sanctorum, June, IV, 499
  • Roth, Das Gebetbuch der Elisabeth von Schönau (1886)
  • Franz Xaver Kraus: Elisabeth, die Heilige, von Schönau. In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 6, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1877, S. 46 f.
  • Kurt Köster: Elisabeth von Schönau. In: Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB). Volume 4, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1959, S. 452 f.
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Bautz (1975). "Elisabeth von Schönau". In Bautz, Friedrich Wilhelm. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German) 1. Hamm: Bautz. cols. 1497–1498. ISBN 3-88309-013-1.
  • Peter Dinzelbacher: Mittelalterliche Frauenmystik. Schöningh, Paderborn 1993.
  • Joachim Kemper: Das benediktinische Doppelkloster Schönau und die Visionen der hl. Elisabeth von Schönau, in: Archiv für mittelrheinische Kirchengeschichte 54/2002 S. 55-102

    Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


    Today's Snippet I:   Schönau Abbey - Nassau Germany

    Abbey church of St. Florin, Schönau Abbey of Nassau
    Abbey church of St. Florin, Schönau Abbey of Nassau
    Rectory, Schönau Abbey of Nassau
    Schönau Abbey is a monastery in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Limburg on the outskirts of the municipality of Strüth in the Rhein-Lahn district, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is often referred to as Schönau Abbey of Nassau (because it was founded by the House of Nassau and was located in their lands) or Schönau Abbey im Taunus, in order to differentiate it from the other Schönau Abbey in Baden-Württemberg. This Schönau Abbey is most well known as the convent of St. Elizabeth of Schönau.

    Schönau Abbey was founded in 1126 as a Benedictine abbey by Count Robert I of Nassau, the Vogt of Lipporn. The property on which the monastery was built had already been donated in 1117 by Count Dudo-Henry of Laurenburg, Robert’s father and predecessor, to Schaffhausen Abbey for establishment of the monastery. Its Romanesque buildings were constructed between 1126 and 1145, presumably with a three-nave basilica.

    At the same time, a nuns' convent was founded next to the monks' monastery. St. Elizabeth of Schönau worked there from 1141 until her death in 1164. Her brother Eckbert of Schönau (died 1184) entered the men’s monstery at Schönau in 1155 or 1156.

    Schönau Abbey had grown strong enough economically by 1340 that the city of Frankfurt am Main could promise support through arms and wagons. A Gothic chancel (still extant today) and a chapel dedicated to St. Elizabeth were added between 1420 and 1430 on the north side of the nave.

    During the Protestant Reformation, the surrounding communities of Strüth, Welterod, and Lipporn became Protestant between 1541 and 1544, but Schönau Abbey remained Catholic. In 1606, the convent was dissolved because only a few sisters still lived in Schönau under fairly loose religious rule.

    During the Thirty Years War, Swedish and Hessian soldiers attacked Schönau Abbey between 1631 and 1635. The Swedes drove off the monks, plundered the monastery, broke into the grave of St. Elizabeth and scattered her bones. Only the skull was rescued. It is now preserved in a reliquary on the right-side altar of the church.

    A major fire in 1723 destroyed the church and convent, and only the Gothic chancel remains extant today from the original buildings. The abbey received its present shape in reconstruction over the following years. The chapel to Elizabeth, however, was not rebuilt.

    In the course of secularization in 1802 and 1803, the monks' community was dissolved and the monastery became the property of the state of Nassau. Some of the buildings were sold to private individuals. The parish previously affiliated with Schönau Abbey became part of the Vicariate General of Limburg an der Lahn, which would then become the Diocese of Limburg in 1827.

    In 1904, the Dernbacher Sisters (officially, the Ancillae Domini Jesu Christi, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ) moved into the monastery. From 1947 to 1975, displaced Premonstratensians from Teplá Abbey in Czechoslovakia also lived there. The last Dernbacher sisters left the monastery in 1986.

    Since then the buildings have been used by the local Catholic parish of St. Florin. In 1994, the parish established the Schönauer Book Corner as a public library. Three years later, the former work buildings became "One World House, Schönau Abbey" a learning and meeting place for groups. Also in the rooms of the One World House, a computer training facility and an Internet café were opened in 2001.

    Duchy of Nassau

    The Duchy of Nassau was a German state within the Confederation of the Rhine and later in the German Confederation. The male line of its ruling dynasty, now extinct, was the House of Nassau.

    House of Nassau

    The House of Nassau is a diversified aristocratic dynasty in Europe. It is named after the lordship associated with Nassau Castle, located in present-day Nassau, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The lords of Nassau were originally titled Count of Nassau, then elevated to the princely class as princely counts. At the end of the Holy Roman Empire, they proclaimed themselves Dukes of Nassau.

    Count Dudo-Henry of Laurenburg (ca. 1060 – ca. 1123) is considered the founder of the House of Nassau. He is first mentioned in the purported founding-charter of Maria Laach Abbey in 1093 (although many historians consider the document to be fabricated). The Castle Laurenburg, located a few miles upriver from Nassau on the Lahn, was the seat of his lordship. His family probably descended from the Lords of Lipporn. In 1159, Nassau Castle became the ruling seat, and the house is now named after this castle.

    The Counts of Laurenburg and Nassau expanded their authority under the brothers Robert (Ruprecht) I (1123–1154) and Arnold I of Laurenburg (1123–1148). Robert was the first person to call himself Count of Nassau, but the title was not confirmed until 1159, five years after Robert's death. Robert's son Walram I (1154–1198) was the first person to be legally titled Count of Nassau.

    The chronology of the Counts of Laurenburg is not certain and the link between Robert I and Walram I is especially controversial. Also, some sources consider Gerhard, listed as co-Count of Laurenburg in 1148, to be the son of Robert I's brother, Arnold I. However, Erich Brandenburg in his Die Nachkommen Karls des Großen states that it is most likely that Gerhard was Robert I's son, because Gerard was the name of Beatrix of Limburg's maternal grandfather.


    The branch of Nassau-Siegen was a collateral line of the House of Nassau, and ruled in Siegen. The first Count of Nassau in Siegen was Count Henry, Count of Nassau in Siegen (d. 1343), the elder son of Count Otto I of Nassau. His son Count Otto II of Nassau ruled also in Dillenburg.

    In 1328, John of Nassau-Dillenburg died unmarried and childless, and Dillenburg fell to Henry of Nassau-Siegen. For counts of Nassau-Siegen in between 1343 and 1606, see "Counts of Nassau-Dillenburg" above.
    In 1606 the younger line of Nassau-Siegen was split off from the House of Nassau-Dillenburg. After the main line of the House became extinct in 1734, Emperor Charles VI transferred the county to the House of Orange-Nassau.


    The House of Orange-Nassau stems from the Ottonian Line. The connection was via Engelbert I, who offered his services to the Duke of Burgundy, married a Dutch noblewoman and inherited lands in the Netherlands, with the barony of Breda as the core of his Dutch possessions.

    The importance of the Nassaus grew throughout the 15th and 16th century. Henry III of Nassau-Breda was appointed stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht by Emperor Charles V in the beginning of the 16th century. Henry was succeeded by his son, René of Châlon-Orange in 1538, who was, as can be inferred from his name, a Prince of Orange. When René died prematurely on the battlefield in 1544 his possessions and the princely title passed to his cousin, William the Silent, a Count of Nassau-Dillenburg. By dropping the suffix name "Dillenburg" (of the Orange-Nassau-Dillenburg), from then on the family members called themselves "Orange-Nassau."

    With the death of William III, the legitimate direct male line of William the Silent became extinct and thereby the first House of Orange-Nassau. John William Friso, the senior agnatic descendant of William the Silent's brother and a cognatic descendant of Frederick Henry, grandfather of William III, inherited the princely title and all the possessions in the low countries and Germany, but not the Principality of Orange itself. The Principality was ceded to France under the Treaty of Utrecht that ended the wars with King Louis XIV. John William Friso, who also was the Prince of Nassau-Dietz, founded thereby the second House of Orange-Nassau (the suffix name "Dietz" was dropped of the combined name Orange-Nassau-Dietz).

    After the post-Napoleonic reorganization of Europe, the head of House of Orange-Nassau gained the title "King/Queen of the Netherlands".

    19th Century

    On July 17, 1806 the remaining counties of Nassau-Usingen and Nassau-Weilburg joined the Confederation of the Rhine. Under pressure from Napoleon both counties merged to the Duchy of Nassau on August 30, 1806 under joint rule of Frederick August, Prince of Nassau-Usingen, and his younger cousin Frederick William, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg. As Frederick August had no heirs he agreed that Frederick William should become sole ruler after his death. However Frederick William died from a fall on the stairs at Weilburg Castle on 9 January 1816 and it was his son William who became Duke of Nassau.

    At the 1815 Congress of Vienna the Principality of Orange-Nassau was incorporated into the Duchy of Nassau and subsequently the unified duchy joined the German Confederation with Wiesbaden as its new capital. Through the extinction of most lines, the Nassau-Usingen branch of the Nassau-Weilburg line under Duke William became the reigning house of Nassau until after the Austro-Prussian War in 1866 it was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia and incorporated into the Province of Hesse-Nassau. William's son Adolphe, last Duke of Nassau, received Luxembourg after the male line of Nassau-Dillenburg became extinct in 1890.

    20th Century

    All Dutch monarchs since 1890 and the Grand Dukes of Luxembourg since 1912 have been descended in the female line from the House of Nassau. According to German tradition, the family name is passed only in the male line of succession. The house is therefore, from this perspective, extinct since 1985. However Dutch aristocratic customs (and Luxembourg's, which are based on the aforementioned) differ, and do not consider the House extinct.


    • Genealogy of the Middle Age  - House of Nassau.


     Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part Three: Life in Christ

    Section One: Man's Vocation Life in The Spirit


    Article 6:2  The Moral Conscience- Formation of Conscience

    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 6
    1776 "Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment.... For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God.... His conscience is man's most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths."GS 16

    II. The Formation of Conscience
    1783 Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. the education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.

    1784 The education of the conscience is a lifelong task. From the earliest years, it awakens the child to the knowledge and practice of the interior law recognized by conscience. Prudent education teaches virtue; it prevents or cures fear, selfishness and pride, resentment arising from guilt, and feelings of complacency, born of human weakness and faults. the education of the conscience guarantees freedom and engenders peace of heart.

    1785 In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path,Ps 119:105 we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. We must also examine our conscience before the Lord's Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.DH 14