"Philosophy is the knowledge of that which exists, and a clear understanding of the truth; and happiness is the reward of such knowledge and understanding" (Justin, Dialogue with Trypho, 3).
St. Justin, philosopher and martyr, was born of pagan parents in Flavia in Samaria at the beginning of the second century.
Following his conversion to the faith, he wrote many works in defense of religion, of which we have only two: the Apology and the Dialogue with Trypho.
Justin also opened a school in Rome in which public debates were held. He was martyred along with several companions during the reign of Marcus Aurelius around the year 165.
Justin never ended his quest for religious truth even when he converted to Christianity after years of studying various pagan philosophies.
As a young man, he was principally attracted to the school of Plato. However, he found that the Christian religion answered the great questions about life and existence better than the philosophers.
Upon his conversion he continued to wear the philosopher's mantle, and became the first Christian philosopher. He combined the Christian religion with the best elements in Greek philosophy. In his view, philosophy was a pedagogue of Christ, an educator that was to lead one to Christ.
Justin is known as an apologist, one who defends in writing the Christian religion against the attacks and misunderstandings of the pagans. Two of his so-called apologies have come down to us; they are addressed to the Roman emperor and to the Senate.
As patron of philosophers, Justin may inspire us to use our natural powers (especially our power to know and understand) in the service of Christ and to build up the Christian life within us. Since we are prone to error, especially in reference to the deep questions concerning life and existence, we should also be willing to correct and check our natural thinking in light of religious truth. Thus we will be able to say with the learned saints of the Church: I believe in order to understand, and I understand in order to believe. --Excerpted from Saint of the Day (www.americancatholic.org).
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IRELAND IN THE NEWS
Croagh Patrick (the "reek"), pilgrimage site, Archdiocese of Tuam
There were two stories regarding Ireland that came to our attention in Canada yesterday:
# details of the Visitation of the Irish Church promised in March in Pope Benedict's Letter to Ireland, which includes among the Visitors Archbishop Collins of Toronto (visiting the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly) and myself (to visit the Archdiocese of Tuam in the West of Ireland);
#and information on the logo and theme of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress scheduled for Dublin in 2012 and of the possibility of registering on-line for an electronic journal about the IEC.
In order to assist the journey of catechetical and pastoral preparation leading up to the event, and also in celebration of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ on June 6, 2010, the organizers have released the first issue of an on-line magazine, entitled E-Congress, to share information on the details of their pastoral program. E-Congress is currently available in English and Irish on its own website at: http://www.iec2012.ie/E-Congress/index.html; the organizers hope the next issue will also be available in French and Spanish.
Those interested in being notified of the availability of future issues of the on-line magazine are encouraged to register on its distribution list.
Further details follow.
Apostolic Visitation in IRELAND
Excerpts from the Vatican's Press Release regarding the Apostolic Visitation:
Following the Holy Father’s Letter to the Catholics of Ireland, the Apostolic Visitation of certain Irish dioceses, seminaries and religious congregations will begin in autumn of this year.
Through this Visitation, the Holy See intends to offer assistance to the Bishops, clergy, religious and lay faithful as they seek to respond adequately to the situation caused by the tragic cases of abuse perpetrated by priests and religious upon minors. It is also intended to contribute to the desired spiritual and moral renewal that is already being vigorously pursued by the Church in Ireland.
The Apostolic Visitors will set out to explore more deeply questions concerning the handling of cases of abuse and the assistance owed to the victims; they will monitor the effectiveness of and seek possible improvements to the current procedures for preventing abuse, taking as their points of reference the Pontifical Motu Proprio "Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela" and the norms contained in Safeguarding Children: Standards and Guidance Document for the Catholic Church in Ireland, commissioned and produced by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church.
The Visitation will begin in the four Metropolitan Archdioceses of Ireland (Armagh, Dublin, Cashel and Emly, and Tuam) and will then be extended to some other dioceses.
The Visitors named by the Holy Father for the dioceses are: His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Emeritus Archbishop of Westminster, for the Archdiocese of Armagh; His Eminence Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, for the Archdiocese of Dublin; the Most Reverend Thomas Christopher Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, for the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly; the Most Reverend Terrence Thomas Prendergast, Archbishop of Ottawa, for the Archdiocese of Tuam....
Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, Archdiocese of Tuam
His Holiness invites all the members of the Irish Catholic community to support this fraternal initiative with their prayers. He invokes God’s blessings upon the Visitors, and upon all the Bishops, clergy, religious and lay faithful of Ireland, that the Visitation may be for them an occasion of renewed fervour in the Christian life, and that it may deepen their faith and strengthen their hope in Christ our Saviour.
The Standing Committee of the Irish Bishops Conference welcomed this news:
We welcome the news today that the Apostolic Visitation in Ireland, announced by Pope Benedict XVI in his Letter to the Catholics of Ireland, will begin in the autumn of this year. An expression of the personal closeness of Pope Benedict XVI to the Catholics of Ireland, this Visitation represents one more important step on the path to healing, reparation and renewal in the Church in Ireland. We pledge our full co-operation with all those involved and whose names were announced today.
The Apostolic Visitation will be an opportunity to further develop the work that is being undertaken in the Church in Ireland to address the needs of survivors of abuse, to build upon the strong procedures and guidelines for the safeguarding of children and to work for a renewal of faith.
The Apostolic Visitation is also an opportunity to reflect, evaluate and review certain aspects of life in the Church in Ireland at this time, mindful of Pope Benedict's words in his Letter to the Catholics of Ireland, "In solidarity with all of you, I am praying earnestly that, by God's grace, the wounds afflicting so many individuals and families may be healed and that the Church in Ireland may experience a season of rebirth and spiritual renewal."
We look forward to receiving further details of the precise terms of reference of the Apostolic Visitation in due course.
Your prayers are also welcome for a blessed outcome of these visitation exercises.
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PREPARING FOR DUBLIN'S 2012 EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS
The Logo, entitled People in Communion, was designed on behalf of the Congress Committee by Martin Barlow of Portadown, Co. Armagh.
The design concept is based on the idea of people “from every nation, race, tribe and language” (Rev.7:9) being drawn together in Communion as “One Body” formed by faith in the person of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, and the sacrifice he made upon the cross.
Our sense of community, belonging, celebration and acceptance is captured in the design by the graphic representation of the people with both arms outstretched.
Two separate sources form the inspiration for the design:
• Paragraph 7 of Lumen Gentium, which reads: “Really partaking of the body and blood of the Lord in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread, we are taken up into communion with Him and with one another. Because the bread is one, we though many, are one body, all of us who partake of the one bread.”
• Paragraph 3 of the Encyclical Letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia of Pope John Paul II, which sums up the design, reads: The Church was born of the paschal mystery. For this very reason the Eucharist, which is in an outstanding way the sacrament of the paschal mystery, stands at the centre of the Church’s life....
The end result is a very modern design through the use of colour and graphic. At times the “people” graphic can be separated from the wording, allowing it to take up an iconic form. The design also lends itself to the use and mix of English and Irish in the strap line.
The logo has been submitted for registration to the Irish Patents Office.
Permission for its use in print or design is required. All applications for use require the prior permission of the Committee of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress.