A cameraman films a painting discovered with the earliest known icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul in a catacomb located under a modern office building in a residential neighborhood of Rome, Tuesday, June, 22, 2010. Restorers said Tuesday they had unearthed the 4th-century images using a new laser technique that allowed them to burn off centuries of white calcium deposits without damaging the dark colors of the original paintings underneath. The paintings adorn what is believed to be the tomb of a Roman noblewoman and represent some of the earliest evidence of devotion to the apostles in early Christianity.ROME — The earliest known icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul have been discovered in a catacomb under an eight-story modern office building in a working-class neighborhood of Rome, Vatican officials said Tuesday.The images, which date from the second half of the 4th century, were discovered on the ceiling of a tomb that also includes the earliest known images of the apostles John and Andrew. They were uncovered using a new laser technique that allowed restorers to burn off centuries of thick white calcium carbonate deposits without damaging the dark colors of the original paintings underneath.The paintings adorn what is believed to be the tomb of a Roman noblewoman in the Santa Tecla catacomb and represent some of the earliest evidence of devotion to the apostles in early Christianity, Vatican officials said in opening up the tomb to the media for the first time.Last June, the Vatican announced the discovery of the icon of Paul — timed to coincide with the end of the Vatican’s Pauline year. At the time, Pope Benedict XVI also announced that tests on bone fragments long attributed to Paul “seemed to confirm” that they did indeed belong to the Roman Catholic saint. . . . (continue reading)
aders, not as a novel, a fiction, but as a real biography of the one woman who “made it to the top.” When the movie comes out, this problem will certainly grow in proportions.
espread belief in Europe in the Pope Joan legend during the 13th through 18th centuries. Versions abounded, and many credulous folk, Catholics included, were sincerely convinced that there had indeed been a female pope.
Another possible explanation for the Pope Joan legend lies in the conduct of the much maligned Pope John VIII (reigned 872-882). He appears to have had a very weak personality, even perhaps somewhat effeminate.
This is a new development in the story out of Turkey about the grisly stabbing-decapitation murder of Catholic Bishop Luigi Padovese by his Muslim chauffeur. Different theories for what happened have emerged in recent days (e.g., insanity, jihad, retaliation for abuse, etc.), and obviously it’s not clear yet what exactly happened. But if what this Catholic News Agency report says is true about the chauffeur, then the Jihad theory may be the more likely scenario.
An Italian Vatican expert is saying that Bishop Luigi Padovese, Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia and President of the Turkish Bishops’ Conference, canceled his trip to Cyprus because he feared that his driver –who later confessed to killing the bishop- might attempt an attack on Pope Benedict XVI during his stay on the island.Analyst Fr. Fillippo di Giacomo, who writes for publications such as L’Unitá and La Stampa, revealed that “hours before Padovese was killed, the Turkish Government called him to say that his driver, who they themselves had put in his service four years before, had gotten out of hand. That is to say, he had embraced the fundamentalist cause.”Speaking to the Spanish daily El Pais, Fr. di Giacomo added that “knowing this, Padovese canceled the tickets he had reserved to Cyprus for himself and Altun (his driver). He preferred to stay home rather than to make the trip because he feared that his driver would take advantage of his proximity to the Pope and make an attempt on his life. . . ” (continue reading)
I just received the following note from Tom Peterson, president of CatholicsComeHome and Virtue Media. It’s a great reminder of how important it is for each of us (this means you) to live out the message of 1 Peter 3:15-16, all day, every day: “Always be reading to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence.”
I want to share a personal story with you that happened a few weeks ago while on a flight. It inspired our entire Catholics Come Home team, and I hope it inspires you, too!
I boarded an early morning flight to return home, following a Catholics Come Home presentation in Wichita the night before.
After take-off and the beverage service, I took a second to thank the two hard-working flight attendants for their exceptional hospitality. A little later, one of the flight attendants stopped to tell me how much she appreciated and needed that kind word of affirmation at this time in her life.
Prior to landing, I felt led to take out one of our CatholicsComeHome.org evangelization cards. On the back of the card, I wrote, “The hope you are seeking can be found only in Jesus and His Church.” I signed my name and held the card in my hand, waiting for an opportunity to hand it to her, if it was meant to be.
As we began our descent into the Atlanta airport, that flight attendant stopped one last time to thank me as she headed to the back of the plane for landing. I took a leap of faith and handed her the CCH evangelization card and note, asking her to read it when she got home.
Thanks to God’s abundant grace, last week our office received a wonderful letter from that flight attendant! In it, she explained that she had suffered loneliness since her divorce a year ago, and she was looking for answers. She went on to say that she desperately needed that Catholics Come Home card and hopeful note on the back, and that she hadn’t stopped crying since she received the little card. Amazingly, she confided that she had been away from the Catholic Church and from God for many years. After receiving the Catholics Come Home card and note, she returned to Mass last week, and had finally found exactly what she had been looking for—God!
I wanted to share this story with you as a reminder that each of us is called to share the Good News of Jesus and His Church to a world in need of hope. As members of the Body of Christ, we are called to work passionately to bring souls home to Jesus and His holy Catholic Church. And, it’s always incredible to witness the fruit that comes from being obedient to the will of God.
Likely, someone out there is waiting for you to invite them home too, whether on a plane, at the store, or at your child’s swim meet. So when the opportunity arises, take the time to answer the Holy Spirit’s call, and help change someone’s life forever!