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Monday, September 22, 2014
  • In Google Hangout, pope helps launch worldwide social network
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The wisdom of "It takes a village to raise a child" has been lost as kids are either overprotected by permissive parents or neglected, Pope Francis said. "The educational partnership has been broken" as families, schools and society ...
    FULL STORY
    Pope Francis video chats with a Salvadoran student in the gang-infested neighborhood of La Campanera, San Salvador.
  • Irish cardinal: 'Peace would not have been delivered' without Paisley

    DUBLIN (CNS) -- Irish Cardinal Sean Brady had paid tribute to a controversial Protestant firebrand-turned-peacemaker who once heckled St. John Paul II as the "antichrist."

    The Rev. Ian Paisley, 88, who served as first minister in the cross-community power-sharing government in Northern Ireland from 2007 to 2008, ...
    FULL STORY

    The Rev. Ian Paisley, Northern Ireland's former first minister and former Democratic Unionist Party leader, holds up a sign reading "Pope John Paul II
  • U.S. bishops plan to be stronger advocates for Israeli-Palestinian peace

    JERUSALEM (CNS) -- American bishops were returning to their dioceses after a nine-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land with a stronger resolve to advocate for peace and to urge the U.S. government to take a leadership role in ushering Israelis and Palestinians toward peace, a member ...
    FULL STORY

    Retired U.S. Bishop Bernard J. Harrington of Winona, Minn., left, and other U.S. bishops celebrate Mass in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
  • Pope: People have yet to learn that war is madness, indifference a sin

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When will people ever learn that war is madness and conflicts are only resolved by forgiveness, Pope Francis asked.

    The pope said it is believed that more than 8 million soldiers and 7 million civilians died during World War I -- a four-year-long ...
    FULL STORY

    Pope Francis prays at an Austro-Hungarian cemetery for soldiers of World War I in Fogliano di Redipuglia, Italy.
  • Philadelphia meeting, synods will be part of global debate on families

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015 will serve as a forum for debating issues on the agenda for the world Synod of Bishops at the Vatican the following month, said the two archbishops responsible for planning the Philadelphia ...
    FULL STORY

    Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia speaks during a press conference at the Vatican.
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Lorenzo Ruiz and Companions: Lawrence (Lorenzo) was born in Manila of a Chinese father and a Filipino mother, both Christians. Thus he learned Chinese and Tagalog from them and Spanish from the Dominicans whom he served as altar boy and sacristan. He became a professional calligrapher, transcribing documents in beautiful penmanship. He was a full member of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary under Dominican auspices. He married and had two sons and a daughter. 
<p>His life took an abrupt turn when he was accused of murder. Nothing further is known except the statement of two Dominicans that "he was sought by the authorities on account of a homicide to which he was present or which was attributed to him." </p><p>At that time three Dominican priests, Antonio Gonzalez, Guillermo Courtet and Miguel de Aozaraza, were about to sail to Japan in spite of a violent persecution there. With them was a Japanese priest, Vicente Shiwozuka de la Cruz, and a layman named Lazaro, a leper. Lorenzo, having taken asylum with them, was allowed to accompany them. But only when they were at sea did he learn that they were going to Japan. </p><p>They landed at Okinawa. Lorenzo could have gone on to Formosa, but, he reported, "I decided to stay with the Fathers, because the Spaniards would hang me there." In Japan they were soon found out, arrested and taken to Nagasaki. The site of wholesale bloodshed when the atomic bomb was dropped had known tragedy before. The 50,000 Catholics who once lived there were dispersed or killed by persecution. </p><p>They were subjected to an unspeakable kind of torture: After huge quantities of water were forced down their throats, they were made to lie down. Long boards were placed on their stomachs and guards then stepped on the ends of the boards, forcing the water to spurt violently from mouth, nose and ears. </p><p>The superior, Antonio, died after some days. Both the Japanese priest and Lazaro broke under torture, which included the insertion of bamboo needles under their fingernails. But both were brought back to courage by their companions. </p><p>In Lorenzo's moment of crisis, he asked the interpreter, "I would like to know if, by apostatizing, they will spare my life." The interpreter was noncommittal, but Lorenzo, in the ensuing hours, felt his faith grow strong. He became bold, even audacious, with his interrogators. </p><p>The five were put to death by being hanged upside down in pits. Boards fitted with semicircular holes were fitted around their waists and stones put on top to increase the pressure. They were tightly bound, to slow circulation and prevent a speedy death. They were allowed to hang for three days. By that time Lorenzo and Lazaro were dead. The three Dominican priests, still alive, were beheaded. </p><p>In 1987, Blessed John Paul II canonized these six and 10 others, Asians and Europeans, men and women, who spread the faith in the Philippines, Formosa and Japan. Lorenzo Ruiz is the first canonized Filipino martyr.</p> American Catholic Blog We don’t have to scrub off our sin so God can love us. Instead, when we allow God’s healing love to touch us, we want to leave sin behind. Growth starts in love, not in guilt.
 
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