Monday, June 29, 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015 - Litany Lane Blog: Salvation, Wisdom 1:13-24 38:1, Psalms 30, Mark 5:21-43, Pope Francis's, Daily, Our Lady of Medjugorje Monthly Messages, Feast of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Featured Read - Mystical City of God Chapter 1, Catholic Catechism - The Profession of Faith Chapter Two - I Believe In Jesus Christ, The Only Son of God: Article 5 Paragraph 1 Christ Descended Into Hell, RECHARGE: Heaven Speaks to Young Adults

Sunday,  June 28, 2015 - Litany Lane Blog:

Salvation, Wisdom 1:13-24 38:1, Psalms 30, Mark 5:21-43, Pope Francis's, Daily, Our Lady of Medjugorje Monthly Messages, Feast of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Featured Read - Mystical City of God Chapter 1, Catholic Catechism - The Profession of Faith Chapter Two - I Believe In Jesus Christ, The Only Son of God: Article 5 Paragraph 1 Christ Descended Into Hell,  RECHARGE: Heaven Speaks to Young Adults

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). A remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience, tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7. ~ Zarya Parx 2015

"Where there is a Will, With God, There is a Way", "There is always a ray of sunshine amongst the darkest Clouds, the name of that ray is Jesus" ~ Zarya Parx 2014

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:  13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Rosary - Glorious Mysteries


Hymn of the Week

"Let There Be Peace On Earth" by Vince Gill
Available on (Google Play • iTunes • AmazonMP3)
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Let There be Peace on Earth - John 3, 16-22

16 For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
17 For God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.
18 No one who believes in him will be judged; but whoever does not believe is judged already, because that person does not believe in the Name of God's only Son.
19 And the judgement is this: though the light has come into the world people have preferred darkness to the light because their deeds were evil.
20 And indeed, everybody who does wrong hates the light and avoids it, to prevent his actions from being shown up;
21 but whoever does the truth comes out into the light, so that what he is doing may plainly appear as done in God.'
22 After this, Jesus went with his disciples into the Judaean countryside and stayed with them there and baptised.


Our Lady of Medjugorje Monthly Messages


June 2, 2015 message form our Lady of Medjugorje:

"Dear children, I desire to work through you, my children, my apostles, so that in the end, I may gather all of my children there where everything is prepared for your happiness. I am praying for you, that through works you can convert others, because the time has come for acts of truth, for my Son. My love will work in you – I will use you. Have trust in me, because everything that I desire, I desire for your good, the eternal good created by the Heavenly Father. You, my children, my apostles, are living an earthly life in union with my children who have not come to know the love of my Son, who do not call me ‘mother’ – but do not be afraid to witness the truth. If you are not afraid and witness courageously, the truth will miraculously win, but remember, strength is in love.My children, love is repentance, forgiveness, prayer, sacrifice and mercy. If you will know how to love, by your works you will convert others, you will enable the light of my Son to penetrate into souls.  Pray for your shepherds. They belong to my Son. He called them. Pray that they may always have the strength and the courage to shine with the light of my Son.  Thank you for having responded to my call." ~ Blessed Mother Mary

34th year anniversary of the Medjugorje apparitions ( June 24, 1981):
Our Lady of Medjugorje, Queen of Peace, message to the world: “Dear children! Also today the Most High gives me the grace to be able to love you and to call you to conversion. Little children, may God be your tomorrow and not war and lack of peace; not sorrow but joy and peace must begin to reign in the heart of every person - but without God you will never find peace. Therefore, little children, return to God and to prayer so that your heart may sing with joy. I am with you and I love you with immeasurable love. Thank you for having responded to my call.” ~ Blessed Mother Mary


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis Daily Catechesis:

June 28, 2015

Blessed Zelie and Louis Martin

(2015-06-28 Vatican Radio) 

Pope Francis approved on Saturday the decrees allowing for the canonization of Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St. Therese of the Child Jesus (of Lisieux).  
The Holy Father approved the decrees allowing Louis and Zelie Martin to be canonized during the Ordinary Consistory in the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican.

The couple will be the first to be canonized together as husband and wife, giving testimony to their ‘extraordinary witness of conjugal and familial spirituality’, said Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.

As Cardinal Amato presented the soon-to-be canonized couple to the Holy Father, he said that their lives ‘positively impacted their historical context through witness to the Gospel for the renewal of the face of the earth’, The Prefect also emphasized their ‘exemplary life of faith, dedication to ideal values united to a constant realism, and persistent attention to the poor’.

Louis Martin (1823–1894) and Zelie Guerin (1831–1877) were blessed with nine children, four of whom died in infancy.  The remaining five girls all entered religious life, one of whom is St. Therese of Lisieux.
The decree also approves the canonization of Italian diocesan priest Blessed Vincenzo Grossi and Spanish nun Blessed Mary of the Immaculate Conception.

Reference: Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2015 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed - 06/28/2015


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope:  2015

Vatican City, Spring 2015 (VIS)

The following is the English text of the intentions – both universal and for evangelization – that, as is customary, the Pope entrusted to the Apostleship of Prayer for 2015. 

Universal: That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will work together for peace.
Evangelization: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.

Universal: That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.

Universal: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.

Universal: That people may learn to respect creation and care for it as a gift of God.
Evangelization: That persecuted Christians may feel the consoling presence of the Risen Lord and the solidarity of all the Church.

Universal: That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary’s intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.

Universal: That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.

Universal: That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.

Universal: That volunteers may give themselves generously to the service of the needy.
Evangelization: That setting aside our very selves we may learn to be neighbours to those who find themselves on the margins of human life and society.

Universal: That opportunities for education and employment may increase for all young people.
Evangelization: That catechists may give witness by living in a way consistent with the faith they proclaim.

Universal: That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.

Universal: That we may be open to personal encounter and dialogue with all, even those whose convictions differ from our own.
Evangelization: That pastors of the Church, with profound love for their flocks, may accompany them and enliven their hope.

Universal: That all may experience the mercy of God, who never tires of forgiving.
Evangelization: That families, especially those who suffer, may find in the birth of Jesus a sign of certain hope.

  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2015 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 06/28/2015.


November 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children; Anew, in a motherly way, I am calling you to love; to continually pray for the gift of love; to love the Heavenly Father above everything. When you love Him you will love yourself and your neighbor. This cannot be separated. The Heavenly Father is in each person. He loves each person and calls each person by his name. Therefore, my children, through prayer hearken to the will of the Heavenly Father. Converse with Him. Have a personal relationship with the Father which will deepen even more your relationship as a community of my children – of my apostles. As a mother I desire that, through the love for the Heavenly Father, you may be raised above earthly vanities and may help others to gradually come to know and come closer to the Heavenly Father. My children, pray, pray, pray for the gift of love because 'love' is my Son. Pray for your shepherds that they may always have love for you as my Son had and showed by giving His life for your salvation. Thank you."

October 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:  “Dear children! Today I call you to open yourselves to prayer. Prayer works miracles in you and through you. Therefore, little children, in the simplicity of heart seek of the Most High to give you the strength to be God’s children and for Satan not to shake you like the wind shakes the branches. Little children, decide for God anew and seek only His will – and then you will find joy and peace in Him. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

October 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children, I love you with a motherly love and with a motherly patience I wait for your love and unity. I pray that you may be a community of God’s children, of my children. I pray that as a community you may joyfully come back to life in the faith and in the love of my Son. My children, I am gathering you as my apostles and am teaching you how to bring others to come to know the love of my Son; how to bring to them the Good News, which is my Son. Give me your open, purified hearts and I will fill them with the love for my Son. His love will give meaning to your life and I will walk with you. I will be with you until the meeting with the Heavenly Father. My children, it is those who walk towards the Heavenly Father with love and faith who will be saved. Do not be afraid, I am with you. Put your trust in your shepherds as my Son trusted when he chose them, and pray that they may have the strength and the love to lead you. Thank you." - See more at:

Today's Word:  salvation  [sal-vey-shuh n]  

Origin:  1175-1225; Middle English salvatio (u) n < Late Latin salvātiōn- (stem of salvātiō), equivalent to salvāt (us) (past participle of salvāre to save1; see -ate1) + -iōn- -ion; replacing Middle English sa (u) vaciun, sauvacion < Old French sauvacion < Late Latin, as above

1.  the act of saving or protecting from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc.
2.  the state of being saved or protected from harm, risk, etc.
3.  a source, cause, or means of being saved or protected from harm, risk, etc.
4. Theology. deliverance from the power and penalty of sin; redemption.


    Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 30:2, 4-6, 11-13

    2 Yahweh, my God, I cried to you for help and you healed me.
    4 Make music for Yahweh, all you who are faithful to him, praise his unforgettable holiness.
    5 His anger lasts but a moment, his favour through life; In the evening come tears, but with dawn cries of joy.
    6 Carefree, I used to think, 'Nothing can ever shake me!'
    11 You have turned my mourning into dancing, you have stripped off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.
    12 So my heart will sing to you unceasingly, Yahweh, my God, I shall praise you for ever.


    Today's Epistle -   Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24

    13 For God did not make Death, he takes no pleasure in destroying the living.
    14 To exist -- for this he created all things; the creatures of the world have health in them, in them is no fatal poison, and Hades has no power over the world:
    15 for uprightness is immortal.
    23 For God created human beings to be immortal, he made them as an image of his own nature;
    24 Death came into the world only through the Devil's envy, as those who belong to him find to their cost.


    Today's Gospel Reading -  Mark 5:21-43

    Jesus heals two women
    To conquer the power of death and
    open a new way to God

    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:
    In this 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time, the Church asks us to meditate on two of Jesus’ miracles worked for two women. The first miracle is worked for a woman considered impure because she suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years. The second is worked for a twelve-year-old girl who has just died. According to the thinking of the times, any person who touched blood or a dead body was considered impure. Blood and death were factors that excluded people! Thus these two women were marginalized, excluded from taking part in the community. Today, too, we have categories of people who are excluded or who feel excluded from taking part in the Christian community. What are the factors today that cause people to be excluded, both from the Church and from society?

    Mark describes the two miracles quite vividly. The text is long. As you read, think that you are among the crowd around Jesus on the way to Jairus’ house. As you walk in silence, try to pay attention to the many attitudes of the people involved in the miracles: Jairus, the girl’s father, the crowd, the woman suffering from the haemorrhage, the disciples and the girl. Ask yourself what would be your attitude.

    b) A division of the text as a help to the reading:               
    Mark 5:21-24: The point of departure: Jairus loses his daughter. Jesus goes with him and the crowd follows
    Mark 5:25-26: The situation of the woman suffering from an irregular hemorrhage
    Mark 5:27-28: The woman’s reasoning in the presence of Jesus
    Mark 5:29: The woman succeeds in what she wants and is healed
    Mark 5:30-32: The reaction of Jesus and of the disciples
    Mark 5:33-34: The conversation between Jesus and the woman healed because of her faith
    Mark 5: 35-36: The conversation between Jesus and Jairus
    Mark 5:37-40: The arrival at Jairus’ house and the reaction of the crowd
    Mark 5:41-43: The raising of the girl back to life

    c) The Gospel:
    21 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered round him and he stayed by the lake. 22 Then the president of the synagogue came up, named Jairus, and seeing him, fell at his feet 23 and begged him earnestly, saying, 'My little daughter is desperately sick. Do come and lay your hands on her that she may be saved and may live.' 24 Jesus went with him and a large crowd followed him; they were pressing all round him.
    25 Now there was a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years; 26 after long and painful treatment under various doctors, she had spent all she had without being any the better for it; in fact, she was getting worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, and she came up through the crowd and touched his cloak from behind, thinking, 28 'If I can just touch his clothes, I shall be saved.' 29 And at once the source of the bleeding dried up, and she felt in herself that she was cured of her complaint.
    30 And at once aware of the power that had gone out from him, Jesus turned round in the crowd and said, 'Who touched my clothes?' 31 His disciples said to him, 'You see how the crowd is pressing round you; how can you ask, "Who touched me?" ' 32 But he continued to look all round to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman came forward, frightened and trembling because she knew what had happened to her, and she fell at his feet and told him the whole truth. 34 'My daughter,' he said, 'your faith has restored you to health; go in peace and be free of your complaint.'
    35 While he was still speaking some people arrived from the house of the president of the synagogue to say, 'Your daughter is dead; why put the Master to any further trouble?' 36 But Jesus overheard what they said and he said to the president of the synagogue, 'Do not be afraid; only have faith.' 37 And he allowed no one to go with him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 So they came to the house of the president of the synagogue, and Jesus noticed all the commotion, with people weeping and wailing unrestrainedly. 39 He went in and said to them, 'Why all this commotion and crying? The child is not dead, but asleep.' 40 But they ridiculed him. So he turned them all out and, taking with him the child's father and mother and his own companions, he went into the place where the child lay. 41 And taking the child by the hand he said to her, 'Talitha kum!' which means, 'Little girl, I tell you to get up.' 42 The little girl got up at once and began to walk about, for she was twelve years old. At once they were overcome with astonishment, 43 and he gave them strict orders not to let anyone know about it, and told them to give her something to eat.

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

    4. Some questionsto help us in our personal reflection.

    a) What pleased you or touched you most in this text? Why?
    b) What is the attitude of the woman who touched Jesus? What gives her the strength to touch him?
    c) Why were the disciples unable to understand what was going on between Jesus and the crowd?
    d) Who was Jairus? What is Jesus’ attitude towards Jairus, his wife and daughter?
    e) A woman is healed and integrated into the life of the community. A girl is raised from her deathbed. What do these actions of Jesus teach us today for our life within the family and in community?

    5. For those who wish to go deeper into the theme

    a) The context of yesterday and of today:
    i) Throughout his Gospel, Mark goes on giving information concerning the person of Jesus. He shows how the mystery of the Kingdom is mirrored in the power that Jesus exercises on behalf of his disciples, of the crowd and, above all, on behalf of those excluded and marginalized. However, the more this power is manifested, the less the disciples comprehend and it is clear that they must change their ideas concerning the Messiah. Otherwise, their incomprehension will keep on getting worse and they run the risk of growing apart from Jesus.
    ii) In the 70’s, the time when Mark was writing his Gospel, there was a very great tension within the Christian communities between the converted Jews and the converted pagans. Some Jews, especially those who had belonged to the group of Pharisees, continued to remain faithful to the observance of the laws on purity as found in their millennia-old culture and, thus, found it difficult to live with the converted pagans, because they thought that the pagans lived in a state of impurity. Thus, the story of the two miracles worked by Jesus for the two women was of great help in overcoming old taboos.

    b) A commentary on the text:
    Mark 5:21-24: The point of departure: Jairus loses his daughter. Jesus goes with him and the crowd follows.
    The crowd joins Jesus who has just come across from the other side of the lake. Jairus, head of the synagogue, asks Jesus’ help for his daughter who is dying. Jesus goes with him and the crowd follows, pushing him on every side because they all want to be close to Jesus when he is about to work a miracle. This is the point of departure of the two following episodes: the healing of the woman suffering from a haemorrhage for twelve years and the raising of the twelve-year-old girl.
    Mark 5:25-26. The situation of the woman suffering from an irregular hemorrhage
    Twelve years of haemorrhaging! For this reason, the woman was excluded since in those times blood made a person impure as well as anyone who touched that person. Mark says that the woman had spent all her money on doctors but instead of getting better had got worse. An insoluble situation!
    Mark 5:27-28. The woman’s reasoning in the presence of Jesus
    She had heard about Jesus. A new hope grew in her heart. She said to herself: “If I can just touch his clothes, I shall be saved”. The catechism of those days said: “If I just touch his clothes, I shall become impure”. The woman thinks the exact opposite! This is a sign of great courage. It is also a sign of the fact that woman did not quite agree with what the authorities taught. The woman goes into the middle of the crowd that was pushing Jesus on all sides and, almost secretly, succeeds in touching Jesus.
    Mark 5:29: The woman succeeds in getting what she wants and is healed
    At that very moment she feels healed in her body. To this day, in Palestine, on a bend in the road near the lake of Galilee and close to Capharnaum, we can read this inscription on a stone: “Here, in this place, the woman thought to be impure but full of faith, touched Jesus and was healed!”
    Mark 5:30-32. The reaction of Jesus and of his disciples
    Jesus, too, felt power coming out of him “Who has touched me?” The disciples react: “You see how the crowd is pressing round you; how can you ask, ‘Who touched me?” Here again we have a little disagreement between Jesus and his disciples. Jesus had a sensitivity not seen by the disciples. They react like everyone else and do not understand Jesus’ different reaction: But Jesus does not give up and goes on asking.
    Mark 5:33-34. The conversation between Jesus and the woman healed because of her faith
    The woman realises that she has been found out. This is a difficult and dangerous moment for her. According to the belief of those days, someone impure who, like this woman, went among the crowd, would contaminate all just by touching her. Such a person made everyone impure before God (Lv 15:19-30). The punishment for this was that she would be taken aside and stoned. In spite of this, the woman has the courage to do what she did. But the woman, fearful and trembling, falls at his feet and tells him the truth. Jesus then pronounces his final judgement: “My daughter…your faith has restored you to health; go in peace and be free of your complaint!” Beautiful and very human words! By saying “My daughter”, Jesus welcomes the woman into the new family, into the community growing around him. What she thought came to pass. Jesus recognises that without the faith of that woman he could not have worked the miracle.
    Mark 5:35-36. The conversation between Jesus and Jairus
    Just at that moment emissaries from Jairus’ house arrive to tell him that his daughter was dead. There was no need to trouble Jesus further. For them death was the great frontier and Jesus could not cross it! Jesus listens, looks at Jairus and encourages him to be like the woman, namely to believe that faith can achieve whatever a person believes. Jesus says to him: “Do not be afraid; only have faith!”
    Mark 5:37-40. Jesus goes to Jairus’ house and the reaction of the crowd
    Jesus goes apart from the crowd and allows only some of his disciples to go with him. When they arrive at Jairus’ house, he sees people weeping over the death of the girl. He says: “The child is not dead but asleep”. The people in the house laugh. They know when someone is asleep and when someone is dead. It is the laughter of Abraham and Sara, that is, the laughter of those who cannot believe that nothing is impossible for God!” (Jn 17:17; 18:12-14; Lk 1:37). For them also, death is an obstacle that cannot be overcome. Jesus’ words carry a much deeper meaning. In Mark’s time, the situation of the community seemed to be one of death. They had to hear the words: “You are not dead! You are asleep! Wake up!” Jesus takes no notice of the laughter and enters the room where we find the child, himself, the three disciples and the father of the child.
    Mark 5:41-43. The raising of the child
    Jesus takes the child by her hand and says: “Talitha kum!” And the child gets up. Much shouting! Jesus stays calm and asks that food be brought to the child. The healing of two women! One twelve-year old and one who suffered from hemorrhage and was excluded for twelve years! The exclusion of the girl begins at the age of twelve because that is when she begins menstruating. She begins to die! Jesus has greater power and raises her: “Get up!”

    c) Further information: Women in the Gospels
    In New Testament times, women were marginalized for the simple fact that they were women (cf. Lv 15:19-27; 12: 1-5). Women did not take part in the public life of the synagogue and they could not be witnesses. That is why many women put up resistance to such exclusion. Even in Esdra’s time, when the marginalization of women was greater, (cf Esd 9:1-2;10:2-3), resistance grew, as in the cases of Judith, Esther, Ruth, Noemi, Susannah, the Sulamite woman and others. This resistance is echoed in and welcomed by Jesus. Here are some examples of non-conformity and of resistance of women in daily life and Jesus’ acceptance of them:
    The prostitute has the courage to challenge the laws of society and religion. She enters the house of a Pharisee to meet Jesus. When she meets him, she meets love and forgiveness and is defended against the Pharisees. The woman bent double does not even hear the shouts of the chief of the synagogue. She wants to be healed, even though it is the Sabbath. Jesus welcomes her as a daughter and defends her against the chief of the synagogue (Lk 13: 10-17).

    The woman considered impure because she was losing blood, has the courage to go in the middle of the crowd and to think just the opposite of what the official doctrine taught. The official doctrine said: “Anyone who touches her will be impure!” But she said: “If I can just touch his clothes, I shall be saved!” (Mk 5:28). She is not censured and is healed. Jesus says that her healing is the fruit of faith (Mk 5:25-34). The Samaritan woman, who is despised and considered heretical, has the courage to approach Jesus and to change the direction of the conversation started by him (cf. Jn 4:19.25). In John’s Gospel, she is the first person to hear the secret that Jesus is the Messiah (Jn 4:26).

    The gentile woman from the region of Tyre and Sidon does not accept her exclusion and speaks in such a manner as to make Jesus listen to her (Mk 7: 24-30). The mothers with little children challenge the disciples and are welcomed and blessed by Jesus (Mt 19:13-15; Mk 10:13-16). The women who challenged the authorities and stayed at the foot of the cross of Jesus (Mk 15:40; Mt 27:55-56.61), were also the first to experience the presence of Jesus after the resurrection (Mk 16:5-8; Mt 28:9-10).

    Among them was Mary Magdalene who was considered to have been possessed by evil spirits and was healed by Jesus (Lk, 8:2). She was given the order to pass on the Good News of the resurrection to the apostles (Jn 20:16-18). Mark says that "they used to follow him and look after him when he was in Galilee. And many other women were there who had come up to Jerusalem with him" (Mk 15:41). Mark uses three important words to define the life of these women: follow, look after, come up to Jerusalem. These three words describe the ideal disciple. They represent the model for the other disciples who had fled!

    6. Praying with Psalm 103 (102)
    Thanking God for all that he does for us!
    Bless Yahweh, my soul,
    from the depths of my being, his holy name;
    bless Yahweh, my soul,
    never forget all his acts of kindness.
    He forgives all your offences,
    cures all your diseases,
    he redeems your life from the abyss,
    crowns you with faithful love and tenderness;
    he contents you with good things all your life,
    renews your youth like an eagle's.
    Yahweh acts with uprightness,
    with justice to all who are oppressed;
    he revealed to Moses his ways,
    his great deeds to the children of Israel.
    Yahweh is tenderness and pity,
    slow to anger and rich in faithful love;
    his indignation does not last for ever,
    nor his resentment remain for all time;
    he does not treat us as our sins deserve,
    nor repay us as befits our offences.
    As the height of heaven above earth,
    so strong is his faithful love for those who fear him.
    As the distance of east from west,
    so far from us does he put our faults.
    As tenderly as a father treats his children,
    so Yahweh treats those who fear him;
    he knows of what we are made,
    he remembers that we are dust.
    As for a human person -- his days are like grass,
    he blooms like the wild flowers;
    as soon as the wind blows he is gone,
    never to be seen there again.
    But Yahweh's faithful love for those who fear him
    is from eternity and for ever;
    and his saving justice to their children's children;
    as long as they keep his covenant,
    and carefully obey his precepts.
    Yahweh has fixed his throne in heaven,
    his sovereign power rules over all.
    Bless Yahweh, all his angels,
    mighty warriors who fulfil his commands,
    attentive to the sound of his words.
    Bless Yahweh, all his armies,
    servants who fulfil his wishes.
    Bless Yahweh, all his works,
    in every place where he rules.
    Bless Yahweh, my soul.

    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,


    Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


    Saint of the Day:   Solemnity of  Saints Peter and Paul

    Feast DayJune 29
    Patron Saint:  n/a
    Attributes:  n/a

    saints peter and paul
    Saints Peter and Paul
    The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, or the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, is a liturgical feast in honour of the martyrdom in Rome of the apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which is observed on 29 June. The celebration is of ancient origin, the date selected being the anniversary either of their death or of the translation of their relics.[1]

    In the Roman Catholic calendar of saints, it is celebrated as a solemnity. In the General Roman Calendar of 1962, it is a first-class feast. It is a holy day of obligation in the universal Church, although individual conferences of bishops can suppress the obligation.[2]

    In England and Wales the feast is observed as a holy day of obligation while in the United States and Canada, it is not. In Malta it is a public holiday and in Maltese known as L-Imnarja.

    This is the day of the liturgical year on which those newly created metropolitan archbishops receive the primary symbol of their office, the pallium, from the pope.

    In Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches

    For Eastern Orthodox and some Eastern Catholic Christians this feast also marks the end of the Apostles' Fast (which began on the Monday following All Saints' Sunday, i.e., the second Monday after Pentecost). It is considered a day of recommended attendance, whereon one should attend the All-Night Vigil (or at least Vespers) on the eve, and the Divine Liturgy on the morning of the feast (there are, however, no "Days of Obligation" in the Eastern Church). For those who follow the traditional Julian Calendar, 29 June falls on the Gregorian Calendar date of 12 July.

    In the Russian Orthodox tradition, Macarius of Unzha's Miracle of the Moose is said to have occurred during the Apostles' Fast and the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul that followed it.

    Ecumenical importance

    In recent decades, this feast, along with that of Saint Andrew, has been of importance to the modern ecumenical movement as an occasion on which the pope and the Patriarch of Constantinople have officiated at services designed to bring their two churches closer to intercommunion. This was especially the case during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, as reflected in his encyclical Ut Unum Sint.


    1. ^ The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI (Robert Appleton Company, New York, 1911), s.v., "St. Paul", accessed 2007-06-04.
    2. ^ Codex Iuris Canonici (1983), canon 1246.

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        Snippet I:  Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem

        Church of the Holy Sepulchre (1885).
        The Christian Quarter is one of the four quarters of the walled Old City of Jerusalem, the other three being the Jewish Quarter, the Muslim Quarter and the Armenian Quarter. The Christian Quarter is situated in the northwestern corner of the Old City, extending from the New Gate in the north, along the western wall of the Old City as far as the Jaffa Gate, along the Jaffa Gate - Western Wall route in the south, bordering on the Jewish and Armenian Quarters, as far as the Damascus Gate in the east, where it borders on the Muslim Quarter. The Christian quarter contains about 40 Christian holy places. Among them is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of Christianity's holiest places.

        The Christian quarter was built around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which is the heart of the quarter. Around the church there are other churches and monasteries. In general the quarter contains few houses, which are mostly concentrated in the southern-eastern part of the quarter. It contains mostly religious tourists and educational buildings, such as the Lutheran school and St. Pierre school.

        Christian buildings stand on much of the quarter. Besides the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the largest site, the Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox, the Franciscan monastery, San Salvatore and the Latin Patriarchate take up significant areas as well.

        The quarter also contains souvenir shops, coffee houses, restaurants and hotels. The shops are concentrated in the market street, David Street, and along the Christian Road. Some of the hotels, such as the Casa Nova hotel and the Greek Catholic hotel, were built by the churches as places for visitors to stay. Others are private hotels.

        The quarter contains some small museums, such as the museum of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. In the southwestern part of the quarter there is a pool called Hezekiah's Pool that was used to store rain water for the area.

        In the 19th century, European countries sought to expand their influence in Jerusalem and began constructing several structures in the Christian quarter. The Ottoman authorities attempted to halt European influence and established rules for buying land in the area, but personal interventions from the heads of those countries, including Wilhelm II of Germany and Franz Joseph of Austria, led to construction of some buildings for those countries' religious authorities.

        At the end of the 19th century, there was no further free land for development in the Christian Quarter. In the same period, the Suez Canal had opened and many Christians travelled to the Holy Land. This led to intensified competition between the European powers for influence in Jerusalem. France built hospitals, a monastery, and hostels for visitors outside the Old City adjacent to the Christian quarter - an area which became known as the French area. The Russians located themselves in the nearby Russian Compound.

        There was a natural desire for easy travel between the Christian Quarter and the new development, but at the time the Old City walls formed a barrier and travellers were forced to take an indirect path through either Jaffa Gate or Nablus Gate. In 1898, the Ottomans accepted the request of the European countries and breached a new gate in the Old City walls, in the area of the new development. The gate was called "The New Gate".


        • "Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls". UNESCO. Retrieved 13 January 2014.


        Snippet II:  Church of the Holy Sepulchre

        Church of the Holy Sepulchre
        The Church of the Holy Sepulchre[1]  also called the Church of the Resurrection by Orthodox Christians is a church within the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. It is a few steps away from the Muristan.

        The site is venerated as Calvary (Golgotha),[2] where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified,[3] and also contains the place where Jesus is said to have been buried and resurrected. Within the church are the last four (or, by some definitions, five) Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa, representing the final episodes of Jesus' Passion. The church has been an important Christian pilgrimage destination since at least the fourth century as the traditional site of the resurrection of Christ.

        Today it also serves as the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, while control of the building is shared between several Christian churches and secular entities in complicated arrangements essentially unchanged for centuries. Today, the church is home to branches of Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy as well as to Roman Catholicism. Anglicans and Protestants have no permanent presence in the Church[4] and some have regarded the Garden Tomb, elsewhere in Jerusalem, as the true place of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection.



         Church of the Holy Sepulchre
        According to Eusebius of Caesarea, the Roman emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD built a temple dedicated to the Roman goddess Venus in order to bury the cave in which Jesus had been buried.[5][6] The first Christian emperor, Constantine the Great, ordered in about 325/326 that the temple be replaced by a church.[7] During the building of the Church, Constantine's mother, Helena, is believed to have rediscovered the True Cross, and a tomb (although there are some discrepancies among authors).[5] Socrates Scholasticus (born c. 380), in his Ecclesiastical History, gives a full description of the discovery.[8]

        Constantine's church was built as two connected churches over the two different holy sites, including a great basilica (the Martyrium visited by Egeria in the 380s), an enclosed colonnaded atrium (the Triportico) with the traditional site of Golgotha in one corner, and a rotunda, called the Anastasis ("Resurrection" in Greek), which contained the remains of a rock-cut room that Helena and Macarius identified as the burial site of Jesus.

        According to tradition, Constantine arranged for the rockface to be removed from around the tomb, without harming it, in order to isolate the tomb; in the centre of the rotunda is a small building called (in Greek) the Kouvouklion[9] or (in Latin) the Aedicule,[10] which encloses this tomb. The remains are completely enveloped by a marble sheath placed some 500 years before to protect the ledge from Ottoman attacks. However, there are several thick window wells extending through the marble sheath, from the interior to the exterior that are not marble clad. They appear to reveal an underlying limestone rock, which may be part of the original living rock of the tomb.

        Each year, the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates the anniversary of the consecration of the Church of the Resurrection (Holy Sepulchre) on 13 September.[11]

        Damage and destruction

        Golgotha altar
        This building was damaged by fire in May of 614 when the Sassanid Empire, under Khosrau II, invaded Jerusalem and captured the True Cross which was restored in 630 by the Emperor Heraclius when he recaptured and rebuilt the church. After Jerusalem was captured by the Arabs, it remained a Christian church, with the early Muslim rulers protecting the city's Christian sites. A story reports that the Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab visited the church and stopped to pray on the balcony; but at the time of prayer, he turned away from the church and prayed outside. He feared that future generations would misinterpret this gesture, taking it as a pretext to turn the church into a mosque. Eutychius added that Umar wrote a decree prohibiting Muslims from praying at this location. The building suffered severe damage due to an earthquake in 746.
        Early in the ninth century, another earthquake damaged the dome of the Anastasis. Damage was restored in 810 by Patriarch Thomas. In the year 841, the church suffered a fire. In 935, the Orthodox Christians prevented the construction of a Muslim mosque adjacent the Church. In 938, a new fire damaged the inside of the basilica and came close to the roundabout. In 966, due to a defeat of Muslim armies in the region of Syria, a riot broke out and was followed by reprisals. The basilica was burned again. The doors and roof were burnt, and the Patriarch John VII was murdered.

        On 18 October 1009, Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah ordered the complete destruction of the church as part of a more general campaign against Christian places of worship in Palestine and Egypt.[12] The damage was extensive, with few parts of the early church remaining.[13] Christian Europe reacted with shock and expulsions of Jews (for example, Cluniac monk Rodulfus Glaber blamed the Jews, with the result that Jews were expelled from Limoges and other French towns) and an impetus to later Crusades.[14]


        View of Holy Sepulchre courtyard
        In wide ranging negotiations between the Fatimids and the Byzantine Empire in 1027-8 an agreement was reached whereby the new Caliph Ali az-Zahir (Al-Hakim's son) agreed to allow the rebuilding and redecoration of the Church.[15] The rebuilding was finally completed with the financing of the huge expense by Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos and Patriarch Nicephorus of Constantinople in 1048.[16] As a concession, the mosque in Constantinople was re-opened and sermons were to be pronounced in az-Zahir's name. Muslim sources say a by-product of the agreement was the recanting of Islam by many Christians who had been forced to convert under Al-Hakim's persecutions. In addition, the Byzantines, while releasing 5,000 Muslim prisoners, made demands for the restoration of other churches destroyed by Al-Hakim and the re-establishment of a Patriarch in Jerusalem. Contemporary sources credit the emperor with spending vast sums in an effort to restore the Church of the Holy Sepulchre after this agreement was made.[15] Despite the Byzantines spending vast sums on the project, "a total replacement was far beyond available resources. The new construction was concentrated on the rotunda and its surrounding buildings: the great basilica remained in ruins."[13] The rebuilt church site consisted of "a court open to the sky, with five small chapels attached to it."[17] The chapels were to the east of the court of resurrection, where the wall of the great church had been. They commemorated scenes from the passion, such as the location of the prison of Christ and of his flagellation, and presumably were so placed because of the difficulties of free movement among shrines in the streets of the city. The dedication of these chapels indicates the importance of the pilgrims' devotion to the suffering of Christ. They have been described as 'a sort of Via Dolorosa in miniature'... since little or no rebuilding took place on the site of the great basilica. Western pilgrims to Jerusalem during the eleventh century found much of the sacred site in ruins."[13] Control of Jerusalem, and thereby the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, continued to change hands several times between the Fatimids and the Seljuk Turks (loyal to the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad) until the arrival of the Crusaders in 1099.[18]

        Crusader period

        Capture of Jerusalem by Crusaders 15 July 1099
        1. The Holy Sepulchre
        2. The Dome of the Rock
        3. Ramparts
         Many historians maintain that the main concern of Pope Urban II, when calling for the First Crusade, was the threat to Constantinople from the Turkish invasion of Asia Minor in response to the appeal of Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos.[19] Historians agree that the fate of Jerusalem and thereby the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was of concern if not the immediate goal of papal policy in 1095. The idea of taking Jerusalem gained more focus as the Crusade was underway. The rebuilt church site was taken from the Fatimids (who had recently taken it from the Abassids) by the knights of the First Crusade on 15 July 1099.[13]

         The First Crusade was envisioned as an armed pilgrimage, and no crusader could consider his journey complete unless he had prayed as a pilgrim at the Holy Sepulchre. Crusader Prince Godfrey of Bouillon, who became the first crusader monarch of Jerusalem, decided not to use the title "king" during his lifetime, and declared himself "Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri" ("Protector [or Defender] of the Holy Sepulchre"). By the crusader period, a cistern under the former basilica was rumoured to have been the location where Helena had found the True Cross, and began to be venerated as such; although the cistern later became the "Chapel of the Invention of the Cross," there is no evidence for the rumour prior to the 11th century, and modern archaeological investigation has now dated the cistern to 11th century repairs by Monomachos.

        According to the German clergyman and orient pilgrim Ludolf von Sudheim, the keys of the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre were in hands of the "ancient Georgians" and the food, alms, candles and oil for lamps were given them by the pilgrims in the south door of the church.[20]

        William of Tyre, chronicler of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, reports on the renovation of the Church in the mid-12th century. The crusaders investigated the eastern ruins on the site, occasionally excavating through the rubble, and while attempting to reach the cistern, they discovered part of the original ground level of Hadrian's temple enclosure; they decided to transform this space into a chapel dedicated to Helena (the Chapel of Saint Helena), widening their original excavation tunnel into a proper staircase. The crusaders began to refurnish the church in a Romanesque style and added a bell tower.

        These renovations unified the small chapels on the site and were completed during the reign of Queen Melisende in 1149, placing all the Holy places under one roof for the first time. The church became the seat of the first Latin Patriarchs, and was also the site of the kingdom's scriptorium. The church was lost to Saladin, along with the rest of the city, in 1187, although the treaty established after the Third Crusade allowed for Christian pilgrims to visit the site. Emperor Frederick II regained the city and the church by treaty in the 13th century, while he himself was under a ban of excommunication, leading to the curious result of the holiest church in Christianity being laid under interdict. Both city and church were captured by the Khwarezmians in 1244.

        Later periods

        The Franciscan friars renovated it further in 1555, as it had been neglected despite increased numbers of pilgrims. The Franciscans rebuilt the Aedicule, extending the structure to create an ante-chamber.[21] After the renovation of 1555, control of the church oscillated between the Franciscans and the Orthodox, depending on which community could obtain a favorable "firman" from the "Sublime Porte" at a particular time, often through outright bribery, and violent clashes were not uncommon. There was no agreement about this question, although it was discussed at the negotiations to the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699.[22] In 1767, weary of the squabbling, the "Porte" issued a "firman" that divided the church among the claimants.
        A fire severely damaged the structure again in 1808, causing the dome of the Rotunda to collapse and smashing the Edicule's exterior decoration. The Rotunda and the Edicule's exterior were rebuilt in 1809–1810 by architect Nikolaos Ch. Komnenos of Mytilene in the then current Ottoman Baroque style. The fire did not reach the interior of the Aedicule, and the marble decoration of the Tomb dates mainly to the 1555 restoration, although the interior of the ante-chamber, now known as the "Chapel of the Angel," was partly rebuilt to a square ground-plan, in place of the previously semi-circular western end. Another decree in 1853 from the sultan solidified the existing territorial division among the communities and set a "status quo" for arrangements to "remain forever," causing differences of opinion about upkeep and even minor changes,[23] including disagreement on the removal of the "Immovable Ladder," an exterior ladder under one of the windows; this ladder has remained in the same position since then.

        The church after its 1808 restoration
        The cladding of red marble applied to the Aedicule by Komnenos has deteriorated badly and is detaching from the underlying structure; since 1947 it has been held in place with an exterior scaffolding of iron girders installed by the British Mandate. No plans have been agreed upon for its renovation.

        The current dome dates from 1870, although it was restored between 1994–1997, as part of extensive modern renovations to the church which have been ongoing since 1959. During the 1970–1978 restoration works and excavations inside the building, and under the nearby Muristan, it was found that the area was originally a quarry, from which white meleke limestone was struck.[24] To the east of the Chapel of Saint Helena, the excavators discovered a void containing a 2nd-century drawing of a Roman ship, two low walls which supported the platform of Hadrian's 2nd-century temple, and a higher 4th-century wall built to support Constantine's basilica.[21][25] After the excavations of the early 1970s, the Armenian authorities converted this archaeological space into the Chapel of Saint Vartan, and created an artificial walkway over the quarry on the north of the chapel, so that the new Chapel could be accessed (by permission) from the Chapel of Saint Helena.[25]

        There was some controversy in 2010 when Israel threatened to cut off water to the site, demanding payment for all water use since the occupation began in 1967.[26]

        Entrance and parvis

        The entrance to the church, a single door in the south transept—through the crusader façade—is found past a group of streets winding through the outer Via Dolorosa, by way of a local souq in the Muristan. This narrow way of access to such a large structure has proven to be hazardous at times. For example, when a fire broke out in 1840, dozens of pilgrims were trampled to death.[27]

        Historically, two large, arched doors allowed access to the church. However, only the left-hand entrance is currently accessible, as the right door has long since been bricked up. These entrances are located in the parvis of a larger courtyard, or plaza.

        Also located along the parvis are a few smaller structures and openings:
        • Chapel of the Franks, a blue-domed, Roman Catholic crusader chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, which once provided exclusive access to Calvary. The chapel marks the 10th Station of the Cross (the stripping of Jesus' garments).
        • A Greek Orthodox oratory and chapel, just beneath the Chapel of the Franks, dedicated to St. Mary of Egypt.
        • Various entrances to Armenian, Greek Orthodox, and Ethiopian Orthodox chapels.
        • A small Greek Orthodox monastery, known as Gethsemane Metoxion, located to the side of the church.
        Broken columns—once forming part of an arcade—flank the church's front, covered in crusader graffiti mostly consisting of crosses. In the 13th century, the tops of the columns were removed and sent to Mecca by the Khwarezmids.

        The church's bell tower is located to the left of the façade. It is currently almost half its original size.[28]

        The historic Immovable Ladder stands beneath a window on the façade.

        On the south side of the altar, via the ambulatory, is a stairway climbing to Calvary (Golgotha), traditionally regarded as the site of Jesus' crucifixion and the most lavishly decorated part of the church. The main altar there belongs to the Greek Orthodox, which contains the Rock of Calvary (12th Station of the Cross). The rock can be seen under glass on both sides of the altar, and beneath the altar there is a hole said to be the place where the cross was raised. Due to the significance of this, it is the most visited site in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Roman Catholics (Franciscans) have an altar to the side, the Chapel of the Nailing of the Cross (11th Station of the Cross). On the left of the altar, towards the Eastern Orthodox chapel, there is a statue of Mary, believed by some to be miraculous (the 13th Station of the Cross, where Jesus' body was removed from the cross and given to his family).

        Beneath the Calvary and the two chapels there, on the main floor, there is The Chapel of Adam. According to tradition, Jesus was crucified over the place where Adam's skull was buried. The Rock of Calvary appears cracked through a window on the altar wall, with the crack traditionally claimed to be caused by the earthquake that occurred when Jesus died on the cross, while some scholars claim it to be the result of quarrying against a natural flaw in the rock.[29]

        Stone of Anointing

        Just inside the entrance to the church is the Stone of Anointing (also Stone of the Anointing or Stone of Unction), which tradition believes to be the spot where Jesus' body was prepared for burial by Joseph of Arimathea. However, this tradition is only attested since the crusader era (notably by the Italian Dominican pilgrim Riccoldo da Monte di Croce in 1288), and the present stone was only added in the 1810 reconstruction.[21]

        The wall behind the stone is defined by its striking blue balconies and tau cross-bearing red banners (depicting the insignia of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre), and is decorated with lamps. The modern mosaic along the wall depicts the anointing of Jesus' body.

        The wall was a temporary addition to support the arch above it, which had been weakened after the damage in the 1808 fire; it blocks the view of the rotunda, separates the entrance from the Catholicon, sits on top of the now-empty and desecrated graves of four 12th-century crusader kings—including Godfrey of Bouillon and Baldwin I of Jerusalem—and is no longer structurally necessary. There is a difference of opinion as to whether it is the 13th Station of the Cross, which others identify as the lowering of Jesus from the cross and locate between the 11th and 12th stations up on Calvary.

        The lamps that hang over the Stone of Unction, adorned with cross-bearing chain links, are contributed by Armenians, Copts, Greeks and Latins.

        Immediately to the left of the entrance is a bench that has traditionally been used by the church's Muslim doorkeepers, along with some Christian clergy, as well as electrical wiring. To the right of the entrance is a wall along the ambulatory containing, to the very right, the staircase leading to Golgatha. Further along the same wall is the entrance to the Chapel of Adam.

        Rotunda and Aedicule

        The Aedicule
        The Rotunda is located in the centre of the Anastasis, beneath the larger of the church's two domes. In the center of the Rotunda is the chapel called the Aedicule, which contains the Holy Sepulchre itself. The Aedicule has two rooms, the first holding the Angel's Stone, which is believed to be a fragment of the large stone that sealed the tomb; the second is the tomb itself. Due to the fact that pilgrims lay their hands on the tomb, a marble plaque was placed in the fourteenth century on the tomb to prevent further damage to the tomb.

        Under the status quo, the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Armenian Apostolic Churches all have rights to the interior of the tomb, and all three communities celebrate the Divine Liturgy or Holy Mass there daily. It is also used for other ceremonies on special occasions, such as the Holy Saturday ceremony of the Holy Fire led by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch and Armenian Apostolic Patriarch.[30] To its rear, within a chapel constructed of iron latticework upon a stone base semicircular in plan, lies the altar used by the Coptic Orthodox. Historically, the Georgians also retained the key to the Aedicule.[31][32][33]

        Beyond that to the rear of the Rotunda is a rough-hewn chapel containing an opening to a chamber cut from the rock, from which several kokh-tombs radiate. Although this space was discovered recently, and contains no identifying marks, many Christians believe[vague] it to be the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, and it is where the Syriac Orthodox celebrate their Liturgy on Sundays. To the right of the Sepulchre on the southeastern edge of the Rotunda is the Chapel of the Apparition, which is reserved for Roman Catholic use.

        Catholicon and Ambulatory

        • The Catholicon – On the east side opposite the Rotunda is the Crusader structure housing the main altar of the Church, today the Greek Orthodox catholicon. The second, smaller dome sits directly over the centre of the transept crossing of the choir where the compas, an omphalos once thought to be the center of the world (associated to the site of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection), is situated. Since 1996 this dome is topped by the monumental Golgotha Crucifix which the Greek Patriarch Diodoros I of Jerusalem consecrated. It was at the initiative of Prof. Gustav Kühnel to erect a new crucifix at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem that would not only be worthy of the singularity of the site, but that would also become a symbol of the efforts of unity in the community of Christian faith.[34]
        East of this is a large iconostasis demarcating the Orthodox sanctuary before which is set the throne of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem on the south side facing the throne of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch on the north side.

        Prison of Christ 

        The "Holy Prison", or Prison of Christ
        Prison of Christ – In the north-east side of the complex there is The Prison of Christ, alleged by the Franciscans to be where Jesus was held. The Greek Orthodox allege that the real place that Jesus was held was the similarly named Prison of Christ, within their Monastery of the Praetorium, located near the Church of Ecce Homo, at the first station on the Via Dolorosa. The Armenians regard a recess in the Monastery of the Flagellation, a building near the second station on the Via Dolorosa, as the Prison of Christ. A cistern among the ruins near the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu is also alleged to have been the Prison of Christ
        Further to the east in the ambulatory are three chapels (from south to north):
        • Greek Chapel of St. Longinus – The Orthodox Greek chapel is dedicated to St. Longinus, a Roman soldier who according the New Testament pierced Jesus with a spear.
        • Armenian Chapel of Division of Robes
        • Greek Chapel of the Derision – the southernmost chapel in the ambulatory.

        UNESCO World Heritage Site

        The Bible describes Jesus' tomb as being outside the city wall,[46] as was normal for burials across the ancient world, which were regarded as unclean.[47] Today, the site of the Church is within the current walls of the old city of Jerusalem. It has been well documented by Archaeologists that in the time of Jesus, the walled city was smaller and the wall then was to the East of the current site of the Church. In other words, the city had been much narrower in Jesus' time, with the site then having been outside the walls; since Herod Agrippa (41–44) is recorded by history as extending the city to the north (beyond the present northern walls), the required repositioning of the western wall is traditionally attributed to him as well. The church is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Old City of Jerusalem.


        • Biddle, Martin (25 February 1999). The Tomb of Christ. Scarborough: Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-1926-4.
        • Biddle, Martin; Seligman, Jon; Tamar, Winter & Avni, Gideon (7 July 2000). The Church of the Holy Sepulchre. New York: Rizzoli in cooperation with Israel Antiquities Authority, distributed by St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-8478-2282-6.
        • Gibson, Shimon; Taylor, Joan E. (1994). Beneath the Church of the Holy Sepulchre Jerusalem: The archaeology and early history of traditional Golgotha. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. ISBN 0-903526-53-0.
        • Cohen, Raymond (10 March 2008). Saving the Holy Sepulchre: How Rival Christians Came Together to Rescue Their Holiest Shrine. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-518966-3. (subscription required (help)).
        • Bowman, Glenn (16 September 2011). ""In Dubious Battle on the Plains of Heav'n": The Politics of Possession in Jerusalem's Holy Sepulchre". University of Kent.
        • Weitzmann, Kurt, ed. (1979). Age of spirituality: late antique and early Christian art, third to seventh century (582). New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 978-0870991790.




        Mystical City of God, the miracle of His omnipotence and the abyss of His grace the divine history and life of the
        Virgin Mother of God our Queen and our Lady, most holy Mary expiatrix of the fault of eve and mediatrix of grace.
        Manifested to Sister Mary of Jesus, Prioress of the convent of the Immaculate Conception in Agreda, Spain. For new
        enlightenment of the world, for rejoicing of the Catholic Church, and encouragement of men. Completed in 1665.

        Venerable Mary of Agreda
        Translated from the Spanish by  Reverend George J. Blatter
        1914, So. Chicago, Ill., The Theopolitan; Hammond, Ind., W.B. Conkey Co., US..
        IMPRIMATUR:  +H.J. Alerding Bishop of Fort Wayne
        Translation from the Original Authorized Spanish Edition by Fiscar Marison
        (George J. Blatter). Begun on the Feast of the Assumption 1902, completed 1912.

        This work is published for the greater Glory of Jesus Christ through His most
        Holy Mother Mary and for the sanctification of the Church and her members.


        Book 1, Chapter 1


        Treats of the Divine Fore–Ordainment of Christ and His Mother as the Highest Ideals of all Creation; of the Creation of the Angels and Men as their Servants; of the Lineage of the Just Men, Finally Resulting in the Immaculate Conception and Birth of the Queen of Heaven; and of Her life Up to Her Presentation in the Temple.

        The whole of this holy life of Mary is divided, for greater perspicuity, into three parts. The first treats of all that pertains to the fifteen years of her life, from the moment of her most pure Conception until the moment when in her virginal womb the eternal Word assumed flesh, including all that the Most High performed for Mary during these years. The second part embraces the mystery of the Incarnation, the whole life of Christ our Lord, his Passion and Death and his Ascension into heaven, thus describing the life of our Queen in union with that of her Divine Son and all that She did while living with Him. The third part contains the life of the Mother of grace during the time She lived alone, deprived of the companionship of Christ our Redeemer, until the happy hour of her transition, assumption and crowning as the Empress of heaven, where She is to live eternally as the Daughter of the Father, the Mother of the Son and the Spouse of the Holy Ghost. These three parts I subdivided into eight books, in order that they may be more convenient for use and always remain the subject of my thoughts, the spur of my will and my meditation day and night.

        In order to say something of the time in which I wrote this heavenly history, it must be noticed that my father, brother Francis Coronel, and my mother, sister Catharine de Arana, my parents, founded in their own house this convent of the discalced nuns of the Immaculate Conception by the command and will of God, which was declared to my mother, sister Catharine, in a special vision and revelation. This foundation took place on the octave of the Epiphany, January 13th, 1619. On the same day we took the habit, my mother and her two daughters; and my father took refuge in the order of our seraphic Father Saint Francis, in which two of his sons had already been living as religious. There he took the habit, made his profession, lived an exemplary life, and died a most holy death. My mother and myself received the veil on the day of the Purification of the Queen of heaven, on the second of February, 1620. On account of the youth of the other daughter her profession was delayed. The almighty in His sheer goodness favored our family so much, that all of us were consecrated to Him in the religious state. In the eight year of the foundation of this convent, in the twenty–fifth of my age, in the year of our Lord 1627, holy obedience imposed upon me the office of abbess, to which this day I unworthily hold. During the first ten years of the time in which I held this office, I received many commands from the Most High and from the Queen of heaven to write her holy life, and I continued with fear and doubt to resist these heavenly commands during all that time until the year 1637, when I began to write it the first time. On finishing it, being full of fears and tribulations, and being so counseled by a confessor (who directed me during the absence of my regular confessor), I burned all the writing containing not only this history, but many other grave and mysterious matters; for he told me, that women should not write in the Church. I obeyed his commands promptly; but I had to endure most severe reproaches on this account from my superiors and from the confessor, who knew my whole life. In order to force me to rewrite this history, they threatened me with censures. The Most High and the Queen of heaven also repeated their commands that I obey. By divine favor I began re–writing this history on the eighth of December, 1655, on the day of the Immaculate Conception.

        I confess to Thee (Matth. 11,25) and magnify Thee, King Most High, that in thy exalted Majesty Thou hast hidden these high mysteries from the wise and from the teachers, and in thy condescension hast revealed them to me, the most insignificant and useless slave of thy Church, in order that Thou mayest be the more admired as the omnipotent Author of this history in proportion as its instrument is despicable and weak.

        I saw a great and mysterious sign in heaven; I saw a Woman, a most beautiful Lady and Queen, crowned with the stars, clothed with the sun, and the moon was at her feet (Apoc. 12,1). The holy angels spoke to me: “This is that blessed Woman, whom Saint John saw in the Apocalypse, and in whom are enclosed, deposited and sealed up the wonderful mysteries of the Redemption. So much has the most high and powerful God favored this Creature, that we, his angelic spirits, are full of astonishment. Contemplate and admire her prerogatives, record them in writing, because that is the purpose for which, according to the measure suitable to thy circumstances, they will be made manifest to thee.” I was made to see such wonders, that the greatness of them took away my speech, and my admiration of them suspended my other faculties; nor do I think that all the created beings in this mortal life will ever comprehend them, as will appear in the sequel of my discourse. At another time I saw a most beautiful ladder with many rungs; around it were many angels, and a great number of them were ascending and descending upon it. His Majesty said to me: “This is the mysterious ladder of Jacob, the house of God and the portal of heaven Gen. 28, 17); if thou wilt earnestly strive to live irreprehensible in my eyes, thou wilt ascend upon it to Me.”

        This promise incited my desires, set my will aflame and enraptured my spirit; with many tears I grieved, that I should be burden to myself in my sinfulness (Job 7, 20). I sighed for the end of my captivity and longed to arrive where there would be no obstacle to my love. In this anxiety I passed some days, trying to reform my life; I again made a general confession and corrected some of my imperfections. The vision of the ladder continued without intermission, but it was not explained to me. I made many promises to the Lord and proposed to free myself from all terrestrial things and to reserve the powers of my entirety for his love, without allowing it to incline toward any creature, be it ever so small or unsuspicious; I repudiated all visible and sensible things. Having passed some days in these affections and sentiments, I was informed by the Most High, that the ladder signified the life of the Most Holy Virgin, its virtues and sacraments. His Majesty said to me: “I desire, my spouse, that thou ascend this stair of Jacob and enter through this door of heaven to acquire the knowledge of my attributes and occupy thyself in the contemplation of my Divinity. Arise then and walk, ascend by it to Me. These angels, which surround it and accompany it, are those that I appointed as the guardians of Mary, as the defenders and sentinels of the citadel of Sion. Consider Her attentively, and, meditating on her virtues, seek to imitate them.” It seemed to me then, that I ascended the ladder and that I recognized the ladder and I recognized the great wonders and the ineffable prodigies of the Lord in a mere Creature and the greatest sanctity and perfection of virtue ever worked by the arm of the Almighty. At the top of the ladder I saw the Lord of hosts and the Queen of all creation. They commanded me to glorify, exalt and praise Him on account of these great mysteries and to write down so much of them, as I might bring myself to understand. The exalted and high Lord gave me a law, written not only on tablets, as He gave to Moses (Exod. 31, 18), but one wrought by his omnipotent finger in order that it might be studied and observed (Ps. 1,2).

        He moved my will so that in her presence I promised to overcome my repugnance and with her assistance to set about writing her history, paying attention to three things: First, to remember that the creature must ever to seek to acknowledge that profound reverence due to God and to abase itself in proportion to the condescension to his Majesty toward men and that the effect of greater favors and benefits must be a greater fear, reverence, attention and humility; secondly, to be ever mindful of the obligation of all men, who are so forgetful of their own salvation, to consider and to learn what they owe to the Queen and Mother of piety on account of the part assumed by Her in the Redemption, to think of the love and the reverence which she showed to God and the honor in which we are to hold this great Lady; thirdly to be willing to have my spiritual director, and if necessary the whole world, find out my littleness and vileness, and the small returns which I make for what I receive.

        To these my protestations the Most Holy Virgin answered: “My daughter, the world stands much in need of this doctrine, for it does not know, nor does it practice, the reverence due to the Lord omnipotent. On account of this ignorance his justice is provoked to afflict and humiliate men. They are sunken in their carelessness and filled with darkness, not knowing how to seek relief or attain to the light. This, however, is justly their lot, since they fail in the reverence and fear, which they ought to have.”

        Besides this the Most High and the Queen gave many other instructions, in order to make clear to me their will in regard to this work. It seemed to me temerity and want of charity toward myself, to reject the instruction which she had promised me for narrating the course of her most holy life. It seemed equally improper to put off the writing of it, since the Most High had intimated this as the fitting and opportune time, saying to me in this regard: “My daughter, when I sent my Onlybegotten, the world, with the exception of the few souls that served Me, was in worse condition than it had ever been since its beginning; for human nature is so imperfect that if it does not subject itself to the interior guidance of my light and to the fulfillment of the precepts of my ministers by sacrificing its own judgment and following Me, who am the way, the truth and the life (John 14,6), and by carefully observing my commandments in order not to lose my friendship, it will presently fall into the abyss of darkness and innumerable miseries, until it arrives at obstinacy in sin. From the creation and sin of the first man until I gave the law to Moses, men governed themselves according to their own inclinations and fell into many errors and sins (Rom. 5, 13). After having received the law, they again committed sin by not obeying it (John 7, 19) and thus they lived on, separating themselves more and more from truth and light and arriving at the state of complete forgetfulness. In fatherly love I sent them eternal salvation and a remedy for the incurable infirmities of human nature, thus justifying my cause. And just as I then chose the opportune time for the greater manifestation of my mercy, so now I select this time for showing toward them another very great favor. For now the hour has come and the opportune time to let men know the just cause of my anger, and they are now justly charged and convinced of their guilt. Now I will make manifest my indignation and exercise my justice and equity; I will show how well justified is my cause. In order that this may come to pass more speedily, and because it is now time that my mercy show itself more openly and because my love must not be idle, I will offer to them an opportune remedy, if they will but make use of it for returning again to my favor. Now, at this hour, when the world has arrived at so unfortunate a pass and when, though the Word has become incarnate, mortals are more careless of their weal and seek it less; when the day of their transitory life passes swiftly at the setting of the sun of time; when the night of eternity is approaching closer and closer for the wicked and the day without a night is being born for the just; when the majority of mortals are sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness of their ignorance and guilt, oppressing the just and mocking the children of God; when my holy and divine law is despised in the management of the iniquitous affairs of state, which are as hostile as they are contrary to my Providence; when the wicked least deserve my mercy; in these predestined times, I wish to open a portal for the just ones through which they can find access to my mercy; I wish to give them a light by which they can dispel the gloom that envelops the eyes of their minds. I wish to furnish them a suitable remedy for restoring them to my grace. Happy they who find it, and blessed they who will appreciate its value, rich they who shall come upon this treasure, and blessed and very wise those who shall search into and shall understand its marvels and hidden mysteries. I desire to make known to mortals how much intercession of Her is worth, who brought restoration of life by giving mortal existence to the immortal God. As recompense I desire that they look upon the wonders wrought by my mighty arm in that pure Creature, as upon a mirror by which they can estimate their own ingratitude. I wish to make known to them much of that, which according to my high judgment is still hidden concerning the Mother of the Word.”

        I have not revealed these mysteries in the primitive Church, because they are so great, that the faithful would have been lost in the contemplation and admiration of them at a time when it was more necessary to establish firmly the law of grace and of the Gospel. Although all mysteries of religion are in perfect harmony with each other, yet human ignorance might have suffered recoil and doubt at their magnitude, when faith in the Incarnation and Redemption and the precepts of the new law of the Gospel were yet in their beginnings. On this same account the person of the incarnate Word said to his disciples at the last supper: “Many things have I say to you; but you are not yet disposed to receive them” (John 16, 12). These words he addressed to all the world, for it was not yet capable of giving full obedience to the law of grace and full assent to the faith in the Son, much less was it prepared to be introduced into the mysteries of his Mother. But now mankind has greater need for this manifestation, and this necessity urges Me to disregard their evil disposition. And if men would now seek to please me by reverencing, believing, and studying the wonders, which are intimately connected to the Mother of Piety, and if they would all begin to solicit her intercession from their whole heart, the world would find some relief. I will not longer withhold from men this mystical City of refuge; describe and delineate it to them, as far as thy shortcomings allow. I do not intend that thy descriptions and declarations of the life of the Blessed Virgin shall be mere opinions or contemplations, but reliable truth. They that have ears to hear, let them hear. Let those who thirst come to the living waters and leave the dried–out cisterns; let those that are seeking for the light, follow it to the end. Thus speaks the Lord, God Almighty!”





          Catholic Catechism  






          631 Jesus "descended into the lower parts of the earth. He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens."476 The Apostles' Creed confesses in the same article Christ's descent into hell and his Resurrection from the dead on the third day, because in his Passover it was precisely out of the depths of death that he made life spring forth:
          Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead, and shed his peaceful light on all mankind, your Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.477
          Paragraph 1. Christ Descended into Hell
          632 The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was "raised from the dead" presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.478 This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ's descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.479
          633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell" - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.480 Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abraham's bosom":481 "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell."482 Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.483
          634 "The gospel was preached even to the dead."484 The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfilment. This is the last phase of Jesus' messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ's redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption.

          635 Christ went down into the depths of death so that "the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live."485 Jesus, "the Author of life", by dying destroyed "him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage."486 Henceforth the risen Christ holds "the keys of Death and Hades", so that "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth."487
          Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him - He who is both their God and the son of Eve. . . "I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead."488
          IN BRIEF
          636 By the expression "He descended into hell", the Apostles' Creed confesses that Jesus did really die and through his death for us conquered death and the devil "who has the power of death" (Heb 2:14).

          637 In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven's gates for the just who had gone before him.

          476 Eph 4:9-10.
          477 Roman Missal, Easter Vigil 18, Exsultet.
          478 Acts 3:15; Rom 8:11; 1 Cor 15:20; cf. Heb 13:20.
          479 Cf. 1 Pet 3:18-19.
          480 Cf. Phil 2:10; Acts 2:24; Rev 1:18; Eph 4:9; Pss 6:6; 88:11-13.
          481 Cf. Ps 89:49; 1 Sam 28:19; Ezek 32:17-32; Lk 16:22-26.
          482 Roman Catechism I, 6, 3.
          483 Cf. Council of Rome (745): DS 587; Benedict XII, Cum dudum (1341): DS 1011; Clement VI, Super quibusdam (1351): DS 1077; Council of Toledo IV (625): DS 485; Mt 27:52-53.
          484 1 Pet 4:6.
          485 Jn 5:25; cf. Mt 12:40; Rom 10:7; Eph 4:9.
          486 Heb 2:14-15; cf. Acts 3:15.
          487 Rev 1:18; Phil 2:10.
          488 Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday: PG 43, 440A, 452C; LH, Holy Saturday, OR.


          RE-CHARGE:  Heaven Speaks to Young Adults

          To all tween, teens and young adults, A Message from Jesus: "Through you I will flow powerful conversion graces to draw other young souls from darkness. My plan for young men and women is immense. Truly, the renewal will leap forward with the assistance of these individuals. Am I calling you? Yes. I am calling you. You feel the stirring in your soul as you read these words. I am with you. I will never leave you. Join My band of young apostles and I will give you joy and peace that you have never known. All courage, all strength will be yours. Together, we will reclaim this world for the Father. I will bless your families and all of your relationships. I will lead you to your place in the Kingdom. Only you can complete the tasks I have set out for you. Do not reject Me. I am your Jesus. I love you...Read this book, upload to your phones/ipads.computers and read a few pages everyday...and then Pay It Forward...


          •   Recharge: Directions For Our Times. Heaven Speaks to Young Adults.