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Copyright © 2011, B.F.S. All rights reserved. Newsletter - September, 2011 [Plain text version (+ image)]

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* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of September: Dedicated to The Seven Dolors of Mary / The Sorrowful Mother

* How to Govern the Tongue

* New App

* Liturgical Feasts in September

* 'Catholic Trivia'

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Believe That St. Peter Was Never in Rome?

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Dear Friend,

"Passing over the miracles, which they were to perform, He makes love the distinguishing mark of His followers; 'By this shall all men know that you are My disciples' if you have love for one another' (Jn. 13:35). This it is that evidences the saint or the disciple, as He calls him." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

We hope this newsletter finds you doing well. Thanks be to God, we have some significant good news to share. You may recall that earlier this year we had come very close to closing down The poor economy, combined with our limited advertising budget and our commitment to keeping non-commercial parts of our site free of third party ads, has made it difficult for us to stay afloat. While we are presently still losing money every month, the changes we made earlier in the year have decreased our losses to some degree. Another part of our plan to keep going was to develop a line of apps that could help support the website. Our first app, Saints4U, has now been approved and is available for download on the App Store (SM). The app contains 6,400+ entries and includes listings for patron saints, liturgical feasts (both traditional & new calendars), and other feasts. It features a quick & comprehensive search feature plus handy search filters & shortcuts. You can search by name, patronage, male/female gender, month, date, attribute, patronage category (e.g. 'medical', 'occupational'), calendar (traditional or new), etc. It is presently on sale for just $1.99.

Unable to locate a Catholic developer we could afford, we mustered our technical resources to create the app in house (by 'BFSApps'). It has required 'lots of learning & lots of expense', but we hope it will prove to be a worthwhile endeavor. We also have other apps in development that we are very excited about. We know we have a difficult road ahead, but we hope, by God's grace, that things will turn out well. One thing is for sure, the release of this app could not have come at a better time since the main funding source of recently suffered a financial setback, making future funding of very uncertain. If you have (or a loved one has) an iPad®, iPhone®, or iPod touch®, please consider purchasing this handy app today. By doing so, you can help keep online. Don't have one of these devices? You can still help by telling your friends about the app. More detail concerning this app appears below.

Thanks very much for your support of We sincerely appreciate it.

May God bless you & keep you,

Your Friends at

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Marian Prayer of St. Bernard of Clairvaux: "Through thee, O most blessed one, finder of grace, mother of life, mother of salvation, through thee let us have access to thy Son, so that through thee He may receive us Who was given us through thee."

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MCS News & Notes

* If you haven't already signed up for our Third Annual Rosary Week from 10/24-10/30/2011, please consider doing so now. Participation is FREE & easy and can be done from any appropriate location - simply say a 5 decade Rosary each day that week (or for as many days as you can) for the indicated intentions. We hope you will join us. Please invite your friends too! We want as many of our fellow Catholics as possible to join together in this powerful prayer to our loving, Blessed Mother. To sign up for Rosary Week, please visit 

* Millionth visitor update: If traffic patterns persist, it looks like will reach this milestone around mid-September. Please visit often and help us reach this goal sooner.

* Free app offer: If you've donated to within the past 3 months (between 6/1/11 - 9/1/11) either online or by mail and if you have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, we would like to offer you a promotional code for a free app. Just contact us by 9/30/11 with your e-mail address, name, and date of donation (you can reply to this e-mail). Limit one code per donor. Available while supplies last. Please request a free code only if you have a supported device. Note: Code is good for app indicated and must be used before the expiration date & according to App Store rules. Offer is subject to change without notice.

* Plaintext only newsletter: Our newsletters are presently sent in both plaintext & html formats to all subscribers (the version displayed on your screen may depend on your e-mail client). This allows subscribers to view either version of the newsletter. Note that the html version should include images (unless they are turned off) as well as links to individual newsletter articles. The text version does not contain images or links to articles. The text version should have a smaller file size and may not scroll horizontally (an issue that we have worked to avoid, but apparently this still occurs on occasion). If there is enough interest, we will consider a future option of sending just the text version of our newsletter to subscribers who prefer this format. If you would prefer to receive the text only version due to scrolling, mailbox size limits, or for any other reason, please let us know. You can simply reply to this e-mail with the words "prefer text only" in the subject line. If enough subscribers request this option, we will attempt to implement this sometime before the end of the year.

* You may soon notice a change to the bottom border of our site. We may add some large image(s) there corresponding to our new app(s). Please note that this does NOT represent a change to our goal of keeping a non-commercial appearance in non-commercial areas of our site. Note that this goal refers to paid third party advertisements, whereas the images we plan to display are unpaid ads relating to our own apps.

* Please see our Notices page at for dates of anticipated service delays through October 2011

* Help keep us online! Donate $1 or more at . Thank you for your much needed support!

* Reminder: To help ensure delivery of your newsletter, please put our e-mail address in your 'trusted senders' list - or use other applicable options your e-mail provider may offer to let them know that our e-mail is wanted. Thank you.

* Please visit our Notices page for timely news and other important information regarding -

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The Month of September: Dedicated to The Seven Dolors of Mary / The Sorrowful Mother

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"And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed." (Lk. 2:34-35)

"As the sun surpasses all the stars in luster, so the sorrows of Mary surpass all the tortures of the martyrs." (St. Basil)

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Related Resources...

* Devotion to the Seven Sorrows -

* Mary / The Passion & Death of Jesus Reflections -

* Scapulars (Incl. Black Scapular of the Seven Dolours of Mary) -

* Marian Prayers -

* Marian Facts -

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Papal Writings) -

* Marian Scriptural References -

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page) -

* Mary, Our Mother Section -

Looking For Something Else? Try Our Various Indexes For 15,000+ Entries -

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Virgo dolorosíssima, ora pro nobis. [Latin for: Virgin most sorrowful, pray for us.]

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How to Govern the Tongue

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Note: The following is taken from a 19th century edition of Fr. Lorenzo Scupoli's Spiritual Combat. We have made some changes to the text below (e.g. combining paragraphs, punctuation & spelling changes).

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The tongue requires a strict guard over it, by reason of the propensity we have of discoursing of every thing agreeable to our senses. This is to be attributed to a certain pride, which inclines us to think ourselves more knowing than we really are; and, thus fond of our own conceptions, we utter them with great self-complacency, fancying we shine in conversation, and expect the whole company should be attentive to what we say. It would be no easy task to number the evils arising from this detestable vice. In general, we may say it occasions much loss of time; is a certain sign of ignorance and folly, and is usually accompanied with calumny and lies; that it cools the fervor of devotion, gives new strength to our disorderly passions, and accustoms the tongue to frivolous and idle discourse.

In order to correct it, I would advise as follows: Never talk too much either to those who are little attentive to you, lest you tire them; or those who hear you with pleasure, lest you be insensibly led to say what is not proper. Avoid talking loud or in a magisterial tone, both are ungrateful to the ear, and only betray much sufficiency and presumption. Never discourse of yourself, your kindred or what you have done, without an absolute necessity, and even then let it be in as few words as possible, and with great modesty. If you meet with a person who is the subject of his own discourse, neither despise nor imitate him, though all he says should tend to discover his failings and cover him with confusion. Rarely speak of your neighbor or his affairs, unless an opportunity presents itself of saying something [truthful] to his praise. Speak willingly of God and his immense charity for us: but lest you should not express yourself in a proper manner, rather listen to others on that subject, and treasure up what you hear. As to what regards worldly discourse, if it reach your ears, at least let it not enter your heart. But if you are obliged to hear it, in order to give an answer, look up from time to time to Heaven, where reigns your God, and from whence that Divine Majesty condescends to behold even you, unworthy as you are. Weigh well what you intend to say, before it reaches your lips. Be very circumspect, for you will always find a great superfluity; and even when you have determined what to say, still retrench something of it, since in the end you will always perceive you have said too much.

Silence is of infinite service in the spiritual warfare; and they who observe it, may be assured of the victory. For generally speaking, it is accompanied with a diffidence of themselves and a confidence in God, a greater relish for prayer, and facility in virtuous exercises. In order to engage you with a love of silence, consider the great advantages arising from it, and the numberless evils which spring from the contrary vice. Nay more: if you desire to accustom yourself to few words, hold your peace even when you may be allowed to speak; provided your silence be not prejudicial to yourself or others. Be sure to avoid all unprofitable discourse; prefer the company of God, his saints and angels, to that of men. In fine, if you are always mindful of the [spiritual] war you have undertaken, you will scarce find time to breathe, much less to throw away in frivolous and vain conversation.

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"If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, his religion is vain." (St. James, Jms. 1:26)

"If anyone does not fall short in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body also. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide their whole bodies. It is the same with ships: even though they are so large and driven by fierce winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot's inclination wishes. In the same way the tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions. Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze. The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. This need not be so, my brothers. Does a spring gush forth from the same opening both pure and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, produce olives, or a grapevine figs? Neither can salt water yield fresh." (St. James, Jms. 3:2-12)

"Great are the faults committed by the tongue." (St. Faustina Kowalska)

"If Christ is our life, then it follows that all our speech should be about him and that everything we do and think should be guided by his teaching, so that our soul should be formed in his image." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"Let your speech be gentle, frank, sincere, clean, simple and truthful. Avoid all duplicity, artifice and affectation; for although it is not expedient to tell everything which is true, it is at no time allowable to tell what is not." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"No matter how good food is, if poison is mixed with it, it may cause the death of him who eats it. So it is with conversation. A single bad word, an evil action, an unbecoming joke, is often enough to harm one or more young listeners, and may later on cause them to lose God's grace." (St. John Bosco)

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Also Try:

* Reflections -

* Spiritual Growth (Topic Page) -

* Tongue (Topical Scripture) -

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New App

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Please Note: Although we usually avoid including additional images in our newsletters in order to maintain a smaller e-mail size, we felt it important to include the images below in this issue in order to illustrate the app's features. The images will only display in html mode if they are not turned off. We hope this will not cause any inconvenience.

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As indicated above, our first app, Saints4U, has now been approved and is available for download on the App Store (SM). It is presently on sale for just $1.99 and proceeds may help to keep online. Please see below for more information & screen shots...

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Saints4U - For the iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®

Presented by

"A Treasury of Saint Names, Patrons & Feasts!"

Saints4U Screenshots

Description: Saints4U, presented by, is a handy tool for locating patron saints, saint names & feast days. With over 6,400 listings, including 1,000+ patronages, it's easy to find just the right patron saint, baby name or confirmation name. Search for male or female saint names, feasts falling on particular days or months, patronages, liturgical feasts, and more...

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Features (v. 1.0):

* Listings for: patron saints, liturgical feasts (both traditional & new calendars), other feasts

* Contains 6,400+ entries!

* Easy, quick, comprehensive search feature - plus handy search filters & shortcuts - allows searching by: name, patronage, gender, month, date, attribute, patronage category (e.g. 'medical', 'occupational'), calendar (traditional or new), etc.

* Convenient index

* Quick, easy-to-use interface

* In-app e-mail - easily share information with others!

* In-app help

* Links for additional resources

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* Naming babies

* Choosing Baptismal name

* Choosing Confirmation name

* Locating patron saints

* Locating feast days

* Celebrate more Catholic feasts!

* Discover saints to learn about & venerate!

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Devices Supported: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch [may require IOS4.3 / latest IOS]

Limited Time Offer! Just: $1.99 U.S. (plus tax, if applicable)

Available For Download At: 

More Information: 

Online Feedback:

Terms of Use:

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You Can Help!

* Buy the app (go to )

* Tell your friends & fellow parishioners

* Distribute fliers (.pdf format): Single page version - | Four per page version -


* Like the app? Please review it!

* Let us know what you think. We welcome & value your feedback!

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Liturgical Feasts in September

The following is a listing of all liturgical feast dates for September as they appear at

Note: (T) = Traditional, (N) = New (Novus Ordo)

Reminder: Feasts may be superseded / transferred / etc.

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September 1 - St. Giles (T)

September 1 - Twelve Holy Brothers (T)

September 2 - St. Stephen, king of Hungary (T)

September 3 - St. Pius X, pope (T)

September 3 - St. Gregory the Great, pope (N)

September 5 - St. Laurence Justinian (T)

September 7 - St. Cloud (T)

September 8 - Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

September 8 - St. Adrian (T)

September 8 - The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N)

September 9 - St. Gorgonius (T)

September 9 - St. Peter Claver (T)

September 9 - St. Peter Claver (N)

September 10 - St. Nicholas of Tolentino (T)

September 11 - Sts. Protus & Hyacinth (T)

September 12 - The Most Holy Name of Mary (T)

September 12 - The Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N)

September 13 - St. John Chrysostom (N)

September 14 - Exaltation of the Holy Cross (T)

September 14 - The Exaltation of the Holy Cross (N)

September 15 - Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

September 15 - St. Nicomedes (T)

September 15 - Our Lady of Sorrows (N)

September 16 - Sts. Cornelius (pope) & Cyprian (T)

September 16 - Sts. Euphemia, Lucy & Geminianus (T)

September 16 - Sts. Cornelius (pope) & Cyprian (N)

September 17 - Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi (T)

September 17 - St. Robert Bellarmine (N)

September 18 - St. Joseph of Cupertino (T)

September 19 - St. Januarius & others (T)

September 19 - St. Januarius (N)

September 20 - St. Eustace & others (T)

September 20 - Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang & companions (N)

September 21 - St. Matthew, apostle & evangelist (T)

September 21 - St. Matthew, apostle & evangelist (N)

September 22 - St. Maurice & others (T)

September 22 - St. Thomas of Villanova (T)

September 23 - St. Linus, pope (T)

September 23 - St. Thecla (T)

September 23 - St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) (N)

September 24 - Our Lady of Ransom (T)

September 26 - Sts. Cyprian & Justina (T)

September 26 - Sts. John de Brebeuf, Isaac Jogues & companions (T)

September 26 - Sts. Cosmas & Damian (N)

September 27 - Sts. Cosmas & Damian (T)

September 27 - St. Vincent de Paul (N)

September 28 - St. Wenceslaus (T)

September 28 - St. Lawrence Ruiz & companions (N)

September 28 - St. Wenceslaus (N)

September 29 - Dedication of the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel (T)

September 29 - Sts. Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, archangels (N)

September 30 - St. Jerome (T)

September 30 - St. Jerome (N)

Please Note: Above may exclude moveable feasts. For moveable feasts, try here: . For other feasts, try the MCS Daily Digest each day at

Other Dates...

* Ember Wednesday - September 21 (T)

* Ember Friday - September 23 (T)

* Ember Saturday - September 24 (T)

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'Catholic Trivia'

1. In the traditional devotion to the Seven Sorrows, what is the third sorrow?

2. Where does St. Peter tell us that the devil is prowling around looking for someone to devour?

3. Who said the following concerning American schools? "We raise Our voice in strong, albeit paternal, complaint that in so many schools of your land Christ often is despised or ignored, the explanation of the universe and mankind is forced within the narrow limits of materialism or of rationalism, and new educational systems are sought after which cannot but produce a sorrowful harvest in the intellectual and moral life of the nation."

4. Who does Dóctor Mellífluus refer to?

5. Who said...? "In general it must be considered a very grave abuse when the liturgy in ecclesiastical functions is made to appear secondary to and in a manner at the service of the music, for the music is merely a part of the liturgy and its humble handmaid."

6. Who are the highest of the nine choirs of angels?

7. Who said...? "Do you know that often a root has split a rock when allowed to remain in it? Give no place to the seed of evil, seeing that it will break up your faith."

8. What is a solemnity?

9. Who must be recognized as the primary and principal educators of children?

10. Who said...? "If we possessed a real penetrating faith like the saints we should see our Lord like they did."



1. The loss of the child Jesus in the temple

2. St. Peter tell us in 1 Pt. 5:8 that the devil is prowling around looking for someone to devour

3. Pope Pius XII in "Sertum Laetitiae"

4. Dóctor Mellífluus (Honeysweet Doctor) refers to St. Bernard of Clairvaux

5. Pope St. Pius X in "Inter Sollicitudines"

6. Seraphim

7. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church

8. "In general, a solemnity is any feast that is celebrated with as much liturgical observance and splendor as possible, whether universally or locally." (Catholic Dictionary)

9. "Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators. This role in education is so important that only with difficulty can it be supplied where it is lacking." (Second Vatican Council)

10. St. John Vianney


For more information concerning the topics above, try our General A-Z Index at

Like trivia? You might enjoy our crossword puzzles located at

You might also be interested in the Q & A and historical information which may be found each day on the MCS Daily Digest at

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Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Believe That St. Peter Was Never in Rome?

It is good for Catholics to be able to defend their faith against attacks (or even simple questions) from those outside the Church. We therefore hope you may find the following "apologetics brief" helpful.

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Note: Text below is taken from

The following may be used as discussion points when discoursing with those outside the Church (or even among Catholics).

Topic: Do You Believe That St. Peter Was Never in Rome? (Note: Topic is directed at certain Protestants)


* How can you deny Peter was in Rome despite the numerous written testimonies to the contrary? For example, consider...

- Text of fragment dating from c. 198 A.D. to 217 A.D.: "I can point out the [trophies, that is the relics] of the Apostles. For if you are willing to go to the Vatican or to the Ostian Way, you will find the [trophies] of those who founded this Church"

- "Ad. An. Dom. 42: Second year of the two hundred and fifth olympiad: the Apostle Peter, after he has established the Church in Antioch, is sent to Rome, where he remains as bishop of that city, preaching the gospel for twenty-five years." ('The Chronicle', Eusebius Pamphilus, c. 303 A.D.)

- "Ad. An. Dom. 68: Fourth year of the two hundred and eleventh olympiad: Nero is the first, in addition to all his other crimes, to make a persecution against the Christians, in which Peter and Paul died gloriously at Rome." ('The Chronicle', Eusebius Pamphilus, c. 303 A.D.)

- "You have also, by your very admonition, brought together the planting that was made by Peter and Paul at Rome and at Corinth; for both of them alike planted in our Corinth and taught us; and both alike, teaching similarly in Italy, suffered martyrdom at the same time." (St. Dionysius of Corinth, c. 166-174 A.D.)

- "Peter, the first chosen of the Apostles, having been apprehended often and thrown into prison and treated with ignominy, at last was crucified in Rome. And the renowned Paul, oftentimes having been delivered up and put in peril of death, having endured many evils, and boasting of his numerous persecutions and afflictions, was even himself put to the sword and beheaded in the same city." (St. Peter of Alexandria, c. 306 A.D.)

- "The holy Apostles and disciples of the Savior, however, were scattered throughout the whole world. Thomas, as tradition holds, received Parthia by lot; Andrew, Scythia; John, Asia, busying himself among the people there until he died at Ephesus. Peter, however, seems to have preached to the Jews it the diaspora in the Pontus and in Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Asia; and at last, having come to Rome, he was crucified head downwards, the manner in which he himself had thought it fitting to suffer. Is it needful to say anything of Paul, who fulfilled the gospel of Christ from Jerusalem to Illyricum, and afterwards in the time of Nero was martyred in Rome?" ('History of the Church', c. 300-325 A.D.)

- "When Nero was already reigning Peter came to Rome, where, in virtue of the performance of certain miracles which he worked by that power of God which as been given to him, he converted many to righteousness and established a firm and steadfast temple to God. When this fact was reported to Nero, he noticed that not only at Rome but everywhere great multitudes were daily abandoning the worship of idols, and, condemning their old ways, were going over to the new religion. Being that he was a detestable and pernicious tyrant, he sprang to the task of tearing down the heavenly temple and of destroying righteousness. It was he that first persecuted the servants of God. Peter, he fixed to a cross; and Paul, he slew." (From 'The Deaths of the Persecutors', c. 318 A.D.)

- "Come now, if you would indulge a better curiosity in the business of your salvation, run through the apostolic Churches in which the very thrones of the Apostles remain still in place; in which their own authentic writings are read, giving sound to the voice and recalling the faces of each. Achaia is near you, so you have Corinth. If you are not far from Macedonia, you have Philippi,. If you can cross into Asia, you have Ephesus. But if you are near to Italy, you have Rome, whence also our authority derives. How happy is that Church on which Apostles poured out their whole doctrine along with their blood, where Peter endured a passion like that of the Lord, where Paul was crowned in a death like John's [that is, John the Baptist], where the Apostle John, after being immersed in boiling oil suffered no hurt, was exiled to an island." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), c. 200 A.D.]

* Why is it that those who attempt to associate Revelation's 'Babylon' with the Catholic Church (saying that Babylon refers to Rome), deny that St. Peter's own reference to 'Babylon' (see 1 Pt. 5:13) means Rome? Is it because it doesn't suit their agenda? Because it proves the falsity of their claims?

* How can you deny that Peter was in Rome considering that it is been demonstrated that he was buried there (his relics have been shown to be directly under the altar in St. Peter's Basilica) and that pilgrims have been visiting there at least since c. 150 A.D.? Further, why has no one else ever claimed his relics?

* How is it that St. Irenaeus, a pupil of St. Polycarp (who was a hearer of John the Apostle) says that "Peter and Paul were evangelizing in Rome and laying the foundation of the Church" and all the evidence testifies to this fact, but you know better? Were you there?

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"On seven hills had pagan Rome set up her pageantry and built temples to her false gods; seven churches now appear at the summits on which purified Rome rests her now truly eternal foundations." (Liturgical Year)

"To manifest his power still more effectively, [Christ] ordained that the head of his Church should be in Rome itself, the capital of the world, as a sign of his complete victory and that thence faith should spread to the whole world" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Caesar Augustus has long ruled over Pagan Rome, and she thinks herself the kingdom that is to have no end; but she and her Rulers must yield to the Eternal King and his eternal city: the throne of earthly power must now give place for the Throne of Christian charity, and a new Rome is to spring up, grander than the first." (Gueranger)

"The heaven is not so bright, when the sun sends forth his rays, as is the city of Rome, sending out these two lights into all the world. Thence Paul will be caught up, thence Peter... What two crowns has the city about it, with what golden chains it is girded about, what fountains it has! Therefore I admire the city, not for its much gold, not for its columns, not for any other phantasy, but for these pillars of the Church." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"O Peter, we also hail thy glorious tomb!... If all nations are moved at the tidings of thy triumphant death; if all tongues proclaim that from Rome the law of the Lord must come forth unto the whole world; is it not because thy death has turned Babylon into that city of divine oracles hailed by the son of Amos in his prophecy? Is it not because the mountain prepared in distant ages to bear the house of the Lord comes forth from the midst and stands in daylight before all peoples?" (Liturgical Year)

"[W]e know the Church was Roman - that it was born and grew within the confines of the Roman Empire. We also know that Rome was a focal point of early Church authority. By the stated directive of Jesus choosing Peter for a special mission - 'I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven' - and by the martyrdom of the two foremost apostles, Rome, capital of empire and bishopric of Peter, became Rome, capital of the faith, and was recognized as such by the early Church." (Crocker)

"Peter's death confirms the queen of the Gentile world in her august prerogatives of sovereign lady, mother and bride; but the starting point of all this greatness was the solemn moment in which the Vicar of the Man-God, shaking the dust from his feet over Jerusalem, turned his face westwards, and transferred to Rome those rights which the Synagogue had repudiated. It was on quitting Herod's prison that all this happened. 'And going out of the city,' says the Acts, 'he went into another place.' (Acts xii. 17) This other place, according to the testimony of history and tradition, is no other than Rome, then about to become the new Sion, where Simon Peter arrived some weeks afterwards." (Liturgical Year)

"The moment for entering into this same glory [of martyrdom] came at last for Peter himself. 'When thou shalt be old,' his Master had mysteriously said to him, 'thou shalt stretch forth thy hands and another shall gird thee, and lead thee wither thou wouldst not.' So Peter was to attain an advanced age; like his Master, he must stretch forth his arms upon a cross; he must know captivity and the weight of chains with which a foreigner's hand will load him; he must be subjected to death, in its violent form, from which nature recoils, and drink the chalice from which even his divine Master himself prayed to be spared. But, like his Master also, he will arise strong in the divine aid and will press forward to the cross... On the day fixed by God's decree, pagan power gave orders for the apostle's arrest. Details are wanting as to the judicial procedure which followed, but the constant tradition of the Roman Church is that he was incarcerated in the Mamertine prison. By this name is known the dungeon constructed at the foot of the Capitoline hill by Ancus Martius, and afterwards completed by Servius Tullius, whence it is also called Carcer Tullianus. Two outer staircases, called 'the steps of sights,' let to this frightful den. An upper dungeon gave immediate entrance to that which was to receive the prisoner and never to deliver him up alive, unless he were destined to a public execution. To be put into this horrible place, he had to be let down by cords, through an opening above, and by the same was he finally drawn up again, whether dead or alive. The vaulting of this lower dungeon was high, and its darkness was utter and horrible, so that it was an easy task to guard a captive detained there, especially if he were laden with chains. On the twenty-ninth of June, in the year sixty-seven, Peter was at length drawn up to be led to death. According to Roman law, he must first be subjected to the scourge, the usual prelude to capital punishment. An escort of soldiers conducted the apostle to his place of martyrdom, outside the city walls, as the laws required. Peter was marched to execution, followed by a large number of the faithful, drawn by affection along his path, and for his sake defying every peril... There is something supremely grand in the taking possession of these places by the Vicar of the Man-God. The apostle, having reached the spot and come up to the instrument of death, implored of his executioners to set him thereon, not in the usual way, but head downwards, in order, said he, that the servant be not seen in the position once taken by the Master. His request was granted; and Christian tradition, in all ages, renders testimony to this act which adds further evidence to the deep humility of so great an apostle. Peter, with outstretched arms, prayed for the city, prayed for the whole world, while his blood flowed down upon that Roman soil, the conquest of which he had just achieved. At this moment Rome became for ever the new Jerusalem. When the apostle had gone through the whole round of his sufferings, he expired; but he was to live again in each one of his successors to the end of time." (Liturgical Year)

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In Closing...

"When she professed herself the handmaid of the Lord for the mother's office, and when, at the foot of the altar, she offered up her whole self with her Child Jesus - then and thereafter she took her part in the laborious expiation made by her Son for the sins of the world. It is certain, therefore, that she suffered in the very depths of her soul with His most bitter sufferings and with His torments. Moreover, it was before the eyes of Mary that was to be finished the Divine Sacrifice for which she had borne and brought up the Victim. As we contemplate Him in the last and most piteous of those Mysteries, there stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother, who, in a miracle of charity, so that she might receive us as her sons, offered generously to Divine Justice her own Son, and died in her heart with Him, stabbed with the sword of sorrow." (Pope Leo XIII, "Iucunda Semper Expectatione", 1894)

"I bless, praise, and highly commend you, holy and immaculate Virgin Mary, for taking your sorrowful station at the foot of Jesus' Cross, where you stood for a long time careworn and afflicted, transfixed by the sword of sorrow, as foretold by Simeon; for your many tears, which you abundantly shed; for the great loyalty and unwavering allegiance you manifested to your dying Son in his most dire moment; for the acute heartbreak you felt the instant he died; for your tear-filled countenance when you saw him hanging dead before your eyes; for your blessed embrace when in your Mother's arms you received him from the Cross and amid laments clasped him to your breast; for your dolorous journey to the sepulcher, walking behind those who bore that sacred corpse and seeing it placed in a tomb with a large stone sealing it; for your rueful return from the tomb and your entering your home where many of the faithful had gathered, and there you again bitterly bewailed the death of your loving Son. Inasmuch as everyone's eyes were upon you, they too broke out into tears." (Thomas a Kempis)

Memorare: Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

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