Today Christians Celebrate Feast of Pope Saint Sylvester I

St Sylvester IPope St. Sylvester I Served as the Church Gained Freedom,
Presided Over Growth –Image:
Fr. Terrence Prendergast@Twitter

(American Catholic) When you think of this Pope, one thinks of the Edict of Milan, the emergence of the Church from the catacombs, the building of the great Basillicas, St. John Lateran  St. Peter’s Basilica and others, the Council of Nicaea together with other critical events but for the most part, these events were planned or brought about by Emperor Constantine.

A great store of legends has grown up around this man who was Pope at this most important time but very little can be established historically.

We know for sure that his Papacy lasted from 314 until his death in 335 and reading between the lines of history, we are assured that only very strong and wise could have preserved the essential independence of the Church in the face of the overpowering figure of Emperor Constantine–The Bishop’s in general remained loyal to the Holy See and at times expressed apologies to Sylvester for undertaking important ecclesiastical projects at the urging of Constantine.

More here from Catholic Encyclopedia Online

Christian Persecution: China Zhejiang Province Authorities Remove Another Cross

Cross China

China Authorities in Wenzhou Use a Crane to Remove a Cross atop ‘Salvation Church’ in August –Image: NYT/Sinosphere

(Reuters) China authorities dismantled a Cross in a Christian convalescent home a week before Christmas an employee reported this week–the latest example of a growing crackdown on Christianity the totalitarian Marxist regime fears.

Men dressed in in plain clothes removed the Cross that was atop of the nursing home in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province on the 19 December, said Gao Huifang an employee of the facility.

On the 16 December, I wrote here about the growing persecution of Christians by the China regime.

Christian Activists say the latest incident is part of a campaign targeting Churches throughout Zhejiang Province, which is known for its Christian population–As of the 12 December, there had been 400+ Churches receiving ‘Orders’ for removal of Crosses.

More here from China Aid

Related: Anti-Christian Persecution Intensifies –ICN

China Police on Christmas Day Stop Woman from Sharing the Gospel

Today Christians Celebrate the Feast of St. Egwin

St. Egwin

Saint Egwin –Image: Catholic Prayer@Twitter

(Franciscan Media) You say that you’re not familiar with Saint Egwin?  Chances are you’re not alone, unless you are especially informed about Benedictine Bishops who established monasteries in medieval England.

Born of royal blood in the 7th Century, Egwin entered a monastery and was enthusiastically received by royalty, clergy and the people as the Bishop of Worcester, England and as a Bishop, he was known as a protector of orphans, the widowed and a fair judge–who could argue with that?

Egwin’s popularity did not hold up among members of the clergy however, they saw him as overly strict, while he believed that he was simply trying to correct abuses and impose appropriate disciplines. Bitter resentments arose and Egwin made his way to Rome to present his case to Pope Constantine–the case against Egwin was examined and annulled. 

Upon his return to England, he founded Evesham Abbey  which became one of the great Benedictine house of medieval England. It was dedicated to Mary who reportedly had made it known to Egwin just where a Church should be built in her honor–

Egwin died at the Abbey on the 30 December, 717 Following his burial, many miracles were attributed to him: The blind could see, the deaf could hear and the sick were healed.

More here on St. Egwin and Evesham Abbey –Benedictines Stanbrook

China President Xi Calls for Tighter Ideological Controls and Teaching Marxism at Universities

School Children SCSecond Grade Children Hear Michelle Obama Interview During her March
Visit in China, Chengdu –Photo:
Seven Oaks Elem, Columbia, SC@Twitter

(Reuters) China regime President Xi Jinping on Monday, calls for greater ‘ideological guidance’ (propagandizing) at universities saying:

Universities have to “shoulder the burden of learning and researching the dissemination of Marxism” calling on authorities to step up the totalitarian party’s “leadership and guidance” in universities, as well as to “strengthen and improve the ideological and political work,” as the country tightens control of Western values.

Flashback: During Michelle Obama’s ‘Mooch Visit’ to China in March, she Tweeted “I am more confident than ever before in our shared future.”

Uh-Huh! — Riiight…

H/T: China Digital Times

ISIS Jihadists Selling Priceless Christian Artifacts, Blows Up Catholic Church in Iraq on Christmas Day

ISIS Destroy Religious ArtifactsA Woman Walks Inside a Damaged Church in Syria Maaloula
Images: U.S. Dept of State@Twitter

Woman PrayingA Woman Prays Inside a Damaged Church in Syria, Maaloula

(RUDAW) ISIS Jihadists blew up a Catholic Church in the al-Arabi district of Iraq, Mosul said Rev Behnam Raad: “Members of the extremist organization (ISIS) cleared the Church of Virgin Mary of its contents north of Mosul and blew it up after a few hours.”

Local sources told RUDAW News, that ISIS sealed off the Church and planted the bombs last Thursday–Christmas Day.

Earlier this month, I wrote here that ISIS reportedly are turning some Churches into prisons, stripping them of their priceless artifacts and sexually brutalizing Woman.

On the 10 August, I wrote here that Father Nawar, a Catholic Priest from Iraq, Nineveh (once considered the Christian capitol of the country until the Kurdish military was forced to withdraw and it fell to ISIS Thugs) told Catholic News Agency “Today the story of Christianity is finished in Iraq People can’t stay because there is death everywhere.”

Related: ISIS Threatens Iraq’s Priceless Cultural Heritage –CNN

In Iraq, Christmas Traditions Found Only in Memory –NY Times


Pathetic Narcissist Obama Forces Couple to Relocate Hawaiian Wedding So He May Go Golfing

Obama Golfing(UPI) Obama Forces Couple to Relocate their Wedding So He May
Go Golfing for the
50th+Time This Year — 200th+Time as President
Image Courtesy: Honolulu News

Happy Birthday Han Ying, Hong Kong ‘Freedom Movement’ Activist Imprisoned in China

Han Ying(Patrick Poon@Twitter) Today is Han Ying’s birthday shes was one of those who took part in a meal in Beijing on 29 September and held up placards in support of Hong Kong’s Freedom Revolution — On the 01 October, Han was taken away by Chinese authorities and subsequently formally arrested on the trumped up charges of ‘picking quarrels and provoking troubles’ a charge which I wrote about here is often times used against dissidents.

Han is currently being detained at Beijing’s Fengtai Detention Center.

More here on Han Ying from Chinese Human Rights Defenders

Related: Human Rights Abuses in China –NTD TV

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Today Christians Celebrate the Feast of St. Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr

St Thomas BecketSt. Thomas Becket (1118-1170) –Image Courtesy: —Aquinas and More

(American Catholic) Today is the 5th Day of Christmas and we remember St.Thomas Becket, the other Thomas that was martyred for Jesus Christ.

A strong who wavered but for a moment but then learned that one cannot come to terms with evil and so he became a strong churchman, a martyr and a Saint–Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury murdered in his Cathedral on the 29 December, 1170

Thomas Becket’s career began as a stormy one–While Archdeacon of Canterbury he was made Chancellor of England at the age of 36 by his friend King Henry II when Henry felt it advantageous to make his Chancellor the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas gave him fair warning, he might not accept all of Henry’s intrusions into Church affairs nevertheless, he was made Archbishop (in 1162) and resigned his Chancellorship and reformed his whole way of life.

Troubles followed, Henry insisted on usurping Church rights–at one time supposing some conciliatory action possible, Thomas came close to compromise and momentarily approved the ‘Constitutions of Clarendon’ which would have denied the Clergy the right of trial by a Church Court and prevented them from making direct appeal to Rome but Thomas, rejected the ‘Constitutions’ fled to France for safety and remained in exile for seven years.

When Thomas returned to England in 1170 he suspected it would mean certain death because he refused to remit censures, Thomas placed upon Bishops favored by King Henry who cried out in a rage: “Will no one rid me of this troublesome Priest.”

Four knights taking his words as his wish, slew Thomas in the Canterbury Cathedral.

In 1173 Thomas was canonized–In July the following year, King Henry in an attempt to calm a public revolt, did a public penance at St.Thomas’ tomb which became a pilgrimage for the faithful.

More here on St. Thomas Becket from Catholic Online

Today Christians Honor the ‘Holy Innocents’

Holy Innocents‘Holy Innocents’ –Image Courtesy: The Balanced Center 

(American Catholic) King of Judea ‘Herod the Great’ was unpopular with people because of his connections with the Romans and his religious indifference, hence he was insecure and fearful of any threat to his throne–a master politician and a tyrant, capable of extreme brutality, he killed his wife, his brother and his sister’s two husbands to name only a few.

Matthew 2:1-18 tells the story: Herod was (greatly) troubled when astrologers from the East came asking the whereabouts of the newborn King of the Jews, whose Star they had seen–they were told that the Jewish scriptures named Bethlehem as the place where the Messiah would be born. Herod cunningly told them to report back to him so that he too could go and pay homage. They found Jesus, offered Him their gifts and warned by an angel, they avoided Herod on their way back home–Joseph and Mary subsequently escaped with Jesus to Egypt.

King Herod became furious and ordered the massacre of all boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity 2 yrs of age and younger–The horror of the massacre and the devastation of the Mother’s and Fathers led Matthew to quote Jeremiah:

“A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children–refused to be consoled because they were no more.” —Matthew 2:18

Rachel was the wife of Jacob/Israel, is pictured as weeping at the place where the Israelites (descendants of Jacob) were herded together by a conquering Assyrians for their march into captivity.

More here on the ‘Holy Innocents’ from EWTN

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. John the Apostle

St John the ApostleSt. John the Apostle –Image Courtesy: CNA@Twitter

(Franciscan Media) Its is God who calls, humans answer–The vocation of John and his brother James is stated very simply in the Gospels, along with that of Peter and his brother Andrew, Jesus called them and they followed.

The absoluteness of their response is indicated by the account–James and John “were in a boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, He called them and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed Him.” –Matthew 4:21-22

For the three former Fishermen, Peter, James and John, that faith was to be rewarded by a special friendship with Jesus. They alone were present at the Transfiguration, the raising of the daughter of Jairus and the agony in Gethsemane but John’s friendship was even more special–tradition assigns to him the 4th Gospel, although most modern scripture scholars think its unlikely the Apostle and the Evangelist are the same person.

John’s own Gospel refers to him as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” –John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2 The one who reclined to Jesus at the ‘Last Supper’ and the one to whom He gave the exquisite honor, as he stood beneath the Cross, of caring for his Mother. ‘When Jesus saw his Mother and the disciple who he loved standing near, He said, “Behold your Mother” and from that hour the disciple took Her to his own home.’ —John 19:26-27

As a result of the depth of the Gospel, John is usually thought of as the ‘Eagle of Theology’ soaring in high regions that other writers did not enter but the ever frank Gospels reveal some very human traits: Jesus gave James and John the nickname “Sons of Thunder”–While its difficult to know exactly what that meant a clue is given in two incidents…

Full article here from American Catholic

Related: Feast of Saint John the Apostle –USCCB