#111 – Pope Formosus

Pope from October 6, 891 – April 4, 896

Lived: 816 – April 4, 896

pronounced: fohr-MOE-suss

Give me the scoop on Formosus.

Likely born in Rome around the year 816, Formosus was a busy churchman prior to being pope. He was appointed a cardinal and bishop of Porto in 864 by Pope St. Nicholas the Great, and in the ensuing decades would travel numerous times as representative of the pope. He was apparently a candidate for the papacy as early as 872, but his personal piety likely wasn’t the reason. Formosus was elected pope in 891, but was quickly met with more bickering and infighting among the Carolingians, the Frankish nobility. Formosus picked sides and eventually crowned the German King Arnulf as emperor just before his death.

Also during his papacy, a petition from the East arrived asking Formosus to rule whether or not clergy ordained and laity baptized by Photius — the “Pho”ny Patriarch of Constantinople — actually received legitimate sacraments. The pope said “no go” to the clergy, but affirmed that the laity’s baptisms were valid. Formosus died April 4, 896 at the age of 80, but wouldn’t stay buried for long.

What was he known for?

Formosus was best known for provoking the anger of popes before him and after him, for a couple of reasons. One had to do with Formosus’ part in a Roman faction opposed to the crowning of Charles the Bald as emperor in 871. The group, along with Formosus, fled Rome in fear that the pope, John VIII, would bring the crozier down hard for their chicanery and opposition. Their fleeing did no good, and John VIII, you’ll recall, thought it best to excommunicate the lot.

Related to his exile was Formosus’ ambition to take over the Bulgarian Church as archbishop there, to say nothing of his hope to ascend to the papacy. Since it was explicitly banned in canon law that bishops change dioceses — including the See of Rome — Formosus’ scheming to do just that wasn’t taken lightly by the popes who dealt with it. He eventually was reconciled to the Church (he otherwise wouldn’t be a legitimate pope), but he wasn’t done being punished.

Fun fact: Formosus is the only pope to have ever been put on trial…after he was dead. You’ll get the full story on Wednesday, but suffice it to say that one of Formosus’ successors was none too pleased with the latter’s disregard for canon law, and even claimed that the late pontiff was never really pope at all.

What else was going on in the world at the time?

Around the year 895, a treatise known as the Musica enchiriadis was written, though no one knows by whom. It’s the oldest surviving document that attempts to lay down guidelines for a musical style known as “polyphony.” Polyphony is present particularly Gregorian chant, where one hears two or more independent melodies being sung simultaneously. Here’s a good example.

SOURCES (and further reading)John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Pope Formosus – newadvent.org/cathen/0…
Pope Formosus – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
Polyphony – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyphony

Pope St. Nicholas I

105 Pope St. Nicholas I

Pope from April 24, 858 – November 13, 867
Lived: c. 800 – November 13, 867

Give me the scoop on Nicholas I.
A Roman from a noble family, Nicholas was well-known, even before becoming pope, for his holiness, goodwill, intelligence, and ability to lead. He was a subdeacon under Pope Sergius II and a deacon under St. Leo IV. Nicholas was elected on April 24, 858 and wasted no time doing a little spring cleaning (‘twas the season). With the Holy Roman Empire in shambles and Christian morality in a sad state of decay, Nicholas the Great led the Church well through a time where things could easily have dwindled into anarchy. We’re guessing he loved that line from Romans: “Do not grow slack in zeal” (12:11).

During his time in office, Nicholas continued to restore churches and was an active proponent of the religious life, considering he himself lived monastically, through and through. He died November 13, 867, and after death was venerated as a saint.

What was he known for?
Many bishops of the time were living worldly and decadent lives, so one of Nicholas’ hallmarks was reforming and renewing the standards to which bishops and priests should be held. He twice excommunicated the archbishop of Ravenna, John, for basically being a tyrant who extorted his subordinate bishops and imprisoned his priests, not to mention forging papal documents and abusing the pope’s representatives. Nicholas also battled with Hincmar, archbishop of Reims, over the pope’s supremacy, but thankfully that issue was resolved without Hincmar getting the boot.

Nicholas also dealt with the emperor wanting a divorce, seemingly a foreshadowing of Henry VIII nearly 700 years later, when Lothair II left his lawful wife, Theutberga, to marry another woman, Waldrada. The area bishops, who were in Lothair’s pocket, approved of his abandonment, as did a meeting of bishops where papal representatives were bribed. Nicholas, never one to back down, convened his own meeting, thank you very much, where he reversed the decision and excommunicated his representatives. Even Lothair besieging Rome for two days (which he did promptly thereafter) couldn’t discourage The Other Jolly Old St. Nick, despite the pope himself effectively being imprisoned without food in St. Peter’s during that time. Lothair ultimately reconciled to the pope and retreated.

Fun fact: Nicholas had to deal with another case involving marriage, but with an entirely different result. Judith, princess of Italy, had married Baldwin, Count of Flanders without her father’s consent. Frankish bishops, naturally, demanded Judith be excommunicated. Nicholas, on the other hand, said, “Guys, seriously? Take a chill pill,” urging leniency and preferring instead to protect the inherent freedom of marriage.

What else was going on in the world at the time?
Sts. Cyril and Methodius, the great missionary brothers and co-patrons of Europe, began what became known as their “Mission to the Slavs.” Among their many acts was inventing the Cyrillic alphabet and the first Slavic literary language, into which they eventually translated the Bible. Some Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches still use “Old Church Slavonic” (the original language) in their liturgies.

SOURCES (and further reading)
John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Pope St. Nicholas I – http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11054a.htm
Pope Nicholas I – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Nicholas_I
Old Church Slavonic – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Church_Slavonic

MIRACLE APPROVED! FATHER MCGIVNEY TO BE BEATIFIED!

Priest launched international lay movement, died in 19th century pandemic

MEDIA RESOURCESJOIN THE GUILD

ROME – The Vatican today (May 27) announced that Pope Francis approved the promulgation of a decree recognizing a miracle attributed to the intercession of the founder of the Knights of Columbus, Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, a Connecticut priest who served his flock during the pandemic of 1890, before himself becoming ill and dying of pneumonia.

The pope’s action means that Father McGivney can be declared “Blessed,” the step just prior to sainthood. An additional miracle attributed to Father McGivney’s intercession will be required for his canonization as a saint.

McGivney is best known for founding the Knights of Columbus in 1882. Nearly a century before the Second Vatican Council, his prescient vision empowered the laity to serve Church and neighbor in a new way. Today, the Knights of Columbus is one of the largest Catholic organizations in the world with 2 million members in North and Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Europe.

The miracle recognized as coming through Father McGivney’s intercession involved an unborn child in the United States who in 2015 was healed in utero of a life-threatening condition after prayers by his family to Father McGivney.

A date will soon be set for the beatification Mass, which will take place in Connecticut. It will include the reading of an apostolic letter from the Holy Father and the bestowing of the title “Blessed” on Father McGivney.

Earlier this year, in an address to the Knights of Columbus Board of Directors, Pope Francis said the organization has been faithful “to the vision of your founder, Venerable Michael McGivney, who was inspired by the principles of Christian charity and fraternity to assist those most in need.”

“Father McGivney has inspired generations of Catholic men to roll up their sleeves and put their faith into action,” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said. “He was decades ahead of his time in giving the laity an important role within the Church. Today, his spirit continues to shape the extraordinary charitable work of Knights as they continue to serve those on the margins of society as he served widows and orphans in the 1880s. Father McGivney also remains an important role model for parish priests around the world and left us a transformative legacy of effective cooperation between the laity and clergy. 

Born of Irish immigrant parents in 1852 in Waterbury, Connecticut, Father McGivney was a central figure in the dramatic growth of the Church in the United States in the late 19th century. Ordained in Baltimore in 1877, he ministered to a heavily Irish-American and immigrant community in the then-Diocese of Hartford. At a time of anti-Catholic sentiment, he worked tirelessly to keep his flock close to the faith in part by finding practical solutions to their many problems – spiritual and temporal alike. With a group of the leading Catholic men of New Haven, he founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882 at St. Mary’s Church to provide spiritual support for Catholic men and financial resources for families that had suffered the loss of their breadwinner.

The fledgling group soon became a major force in the areas of evangelization, charity, racial integration, and the defense of religious freedom. 

Father McGivney spent his entire priesthood in parish ministry and died of pneumonia on August 14, 1890— two days after his 38th birthday – after falling ill amid a pandemic. Recent scientific evidence indicates that that pandemic – like the current one – may have been caused by a coronavirus.

Known by his contemporaries for his devotion to the faith and his embodiment of the characteristics of the “Good Samaritan,” his cause for sainthood was opened in the Archdiocese of Hartford in 1997. St. John Paul II – who was pope at that time – lauded Father McGivney’s principles, stating in 2003, “In fidelity to the vision of Father McGivney, may you continue to seek new ways of being a leaven of the Gospel in the world and a spiritual force for the renewal of the Church in holiness, unity and truth.”

In March 2008, he was declared a Venerable Servant of God by Pope Benedict XVI, who during his visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral cited the “remarkable accomplishment of that exemplary American priest, the Venerable Michael McGivney, whose vision and zeal led to the establishment of the Knights of Columbus.”

Two recent books also tell the story of Father McGivney and his legacy: Parish Priest (2006), his biography; and the The Knights of Columbus: An Illustrated History (2020).

More information is also available at www.FatherMcGivney.org

Photos and other visual resources are available here.

#101 Pope Gregory IV

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Pope from March 828 – January 25, 844

Died: January 25, 844


Give me the scoop on Gregory IV.

Born in Rome late in the 8th Century, Gregory was known for his penchant for learning and his rugged good looks (yes, seriously) prior to being pope. After priestly ordination, Gregory served as cardinal and pastor of the Basilica of St. Mark, which he adorned with mosaics still able to be seen today. His election happened similarly to Pope Valentine’s – with a unanimous election by Rome’s nobility (who by now pretty much controlled papal elections) and a lot of protest from Gregory himself as he prayed in the Basilica of Sts. Cosmas & Damian. Though he was elected in October of 827, he wasn’t able to begin leading the Church in earnest until Spring 828, once the emperor could assess the choice and give his approval.
During Gregory’s pontificate, St. Ansgar continued making great headway evangelizing Sweden and the surrounding area, which prompted Gregory to name him First Bishop of Hamburg, send him the pallium, and give him “full authority to preach the Gospel … before the body and confession of St. Peter” as the pope’s official representative among the Northern European population. Gregory IV died after nearly 16 years in office on January 25, 844.

What was he known for?

Gregory IV’s time in office was defined by his part in some not-so-brotherly love among the Carolingians, the heirs to the Frankish throne. Louis the Pious was Holy Roman Emperor at the time, but in 817 he had made an agreement which divided the empire three ways, one for each son from his first wife. Louis made the unfortunate decision to renege in 829 after being persuaded by his second wife to also assign a kingdom to his youngest son, Charles the Bald.
Dear ol’ dad was first imprisoned by the older three, then released and restored to power when the trio warred amongst each other. Louis continued to favor Charles, at which point Lothair, the oldest son, persuaded Gregory IV to intervene and play peacekeeper. The pope ended up doing more harm than good, since his choice to accompany Lothair’s army over the Alps was misconstrued as Gregory being on the eldest son’s side (which wasn’t the case). With mistrust on all sides, and despite Gregory’s best intentions and efforts, the empire basically crumbled as a result of this great quarrel. Bummer for the Franks and, as it turned out, for the rest of Europe for many years thereafter.

Fun fact: When Muslims captured Sicily in 831, it didn’t take rocket science to infer that Rome would soon be next. In response, Gregory IV built a fortress at Ostia, the mouth of the Tiber River, to hold off the Muslim army, should they try to attack the Eternal City. The fortress was named, creatively, “Gregoriopolis.”

What else was going on in the world at the time?Around the mid-830s, the Vikings (not the Minnesota ones) began to move south and stick a thorn in the side of Europeans, France and England especially, as the Norse ruler Ragnar Lodbrok rose to power.

SOURCES (and further reading)John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Pope Gregory IV – http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06789b.htm
Pope Gregory IV – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Gregory_IV
830s – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/830s

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#100 Pope Valentine

Pope from August 31, 827 – October 10, 827

Lived: 800 – October 10, 827
Give me the scoop on Valentine.

Valentine, a Roman by birth, advanced very quickly in his service of the Church. Being very holy and of pure morals, he for good reason became a favorite of both St. Paschal I and Eugene II. Valentine was ordained by Paschal to the diaconate and named archdeacon (basically, “chief deacon”), then continued to serve in that role under Eugene II. His election was unanimous among the nobility, priests, and people on August 31. Incidentally, his election wasn’t even able to be confirmed by the emperor, since Valentine died just 40 days later, at the young age of 27.


What was he known for?

Valentine wasn’t around long enough to be known for much, but being Pope No. 100 is still pretty neat.


Fun fact: Apparently, Valentine was deep in prayer in the Basilica of St. Mary Major — and thus not even present at the election — when he was chosen to succeed Eugene II. A crowd traveled to the church and carried Valentine back to the Lateran Palace to be consecrated, despite his loud objections to let him finish praying.

What else was going on in the world at the time?

Nothing to note. Those five weeks, as it turned out, were all very “ordinary.”
SOURCES (and further reading)John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Pope Valentine – http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15254b.htm
Pope Valentine – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Valentine

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John Paul II’s mom chose life after her doctor advised an abortion

One hundred years ago on May 18, Emilia Wojtyla gave birth to her second son, Karol, after a difficult and life-threatening pregnancy. The child would grow up to be St. John Paul II.

In a new book published in Poland, Milena Kindziuk describes how St. John Paul II’s mother was advised to get an abortion.

Karol Wojtyla with his parents. Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Krakow.
By Courtney Mares

One hundred years ago on May 18, Emilia Wojtyla gave birth to her second son, Karol, after a difficult and life-threatening pregnancy. The child would grow up to be St. John Paul II.

In a new book published in Poland, Milena Kindziuk describes how St. John Paul II’s mother was advised to get an abortion.

“She had to choose between her own life and that of the baby she was carrying, but her deep faith did not allow Emilia to choose abortion,” Kindziuk said in an interview with ACI Stampa.

Source: John Paul II’s mom chose life after her doctor advised an abortion

The Polish Bishops’ Conference has asked Pope Francis to name St. John Paul II a patron of Europe and doctor of the Church.

Source: Polish bishops call for John Paul II to be named a doctor of the Church

Imagine if you were born in 1900

This is a repost from Ted Bauer’s Blog, linked below to the original article.

Got this via my girlfriend’s grandmother (86):

Source: Imagine if you were born in 1900

It’s a mess out there now. Hard to discern between what’s a real threat and what is just simple panic and hysteria. For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900.

On your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.

On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy.

When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. And don’t try to catch your breath. On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war.

Smallpox was epidemic until you were in your 40’s, as it killed 300 million people during your lifetime.

At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish. From your birth, until you were 55, you dealt with the fear of polio epidemics each summer. You experience friends and family contracting polio and being paralyzed and/or dying.

At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict. During the Cold War, you lived each day with the fear of nuclear annihilation. On your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, almost ended. When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends.

Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How did they endure all of that? When you were a kid in 1985 and didn’t think your 85 year old grandparent understood how hard school was. And how mean that kid in your class was. Yet they survived through everything listed above. Perspective is an amazing art. Refined and enlightening as time goes on. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Your parents and/or grandparents were called to endure all of the above – you are called to stay home and sit on your couch.

Theology of Jesus’ Blood Type

I am often told that Religion has no place in science.  Oddly enough, science has not only formed my faith; science has sealed my Faith.

Most Christians have heard of the Shroud of Turin, the ancient relic that bears the image of a crucified male.  Blood typing has been done on the Shroud, and it was determined that the crucified male, who many believe to be Jesus of Nazareth, has AB blood.

A lesser know relic is the Sudarium of Oviedo, the cloth, that tradition teaches, covered the face of Jesus before He was wrapped in a burial shroud and laid in the tomb.  The blood on this cloth is also from a male and also Type AB.

There has also been several miracles where a consecrated Host miraculously became true flesh and began to bleed true blood.

One such miracle occurred in the 8th century.

A priest in Lanciano, Italy was doubting the real presence in the Eucharist while offering Mass, when suddenly the Eucharist miraculously turned into human flesh and blood.

Similarly, 500 years after the miracle of Lanciano, another priest, in Orvieto, Italy, who was also doubting the real presence of Jesus, similarly experienced a Eucharistic miracle where the host started bleeding all over his corporal (a cloth used in the liturgy).

You can still see the cloth on display in the Cathedral of Orvieto and the non-decomposing flesh and blood in the Church of San Francesco today.

Miracle of Buenos Aires

More recently, in 1996, another Eucharistic miracle occurred in Buenos Aires, Argentina when a consecrated Host was found on the ground and placed in a glass of water to dissolve, as is custom.

Days later, the Eucharist hadn’t dissolved at all — it had, however, turned into bloody Flesh.

The Cardinal and then-Bishop Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) had a photograph taken of the bloody Host, then stored the Host in a tabernacle to decompose.

Three years later, that same bloody Flesh remained!

That’s when Dr. Ricardo Castañón, a Bolivian neurophysiologist, was called in to have samples from the Host examined in a laboratory environment.

Doctor Castañón took it to the San Francisco Forensic Institute without telling anyone there what it was or where it came from. After testing, he was told the samples constituted heart muscle, specifically from the myocardium of the left ventricle.

Further, the tests showed the blood was human, with human DNA, and of the AB type — the same as found on the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo.  Upon further investigation, he also discovered the Host from the miracle of Lanciano was Blood Type AB, as well!

Coincidence?  Maybe?

But consider this: Blood Types were not discovered until 1900.  The discovery of Blood Type AB came along seven years later, in 1907. Maybe because it’s so rare?  Only four-percent of the World population has Blood Type AB.

Well, here’s where it gets interesting…

Where Science and Theology Merge

The Eucharist is the sacrament of communion with one another in the one body of Christ, writes Rev. Dr. Stany Antony OMI.  This, he continued, was the full meaning of eucharistic koinonia in the early Church.

Scriptures appears to be in agreement.

St. Paul tells us in Cor 10:16-17 that we just don’t participate in the Eucharist, we are in communion in the blood of Christ. “…nonne communicatio sanguinis?” as it is written in the Latin Vulgate; κοινωνία or koinonia in Greek.

Early Church Father and Orator,  St. John Chrysostom (c. 349 – 407) commenting on Paul’s words, — almost 1500 years before the discovery of blood types — said this:

The bread which we break, is it not a communion of the Body of Christ? Wherefore said he not, the participation? Because he intended to express something more and to point out how close was the union: in that we communicate not only by participating and partaking, but also by being united. For as that body is united to Christ, so also are we united to Him by this bread. (Homily 24 on First Corinthians: 4)

In 1485,  more than 400 years before the classification of blood based on the presence and absence of antibodies, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “…the Eucharist is the sacrament of the unity of the Church, which results from the fact that many are one in Christ”.

In 1566, almost 300 years before science established the ABO Blood Group System, the Church had this to say about the Eucharist:

For what bread and wine are to the body, the Eucharist is to the health and delight of the soul, but in a higher and better way. This Sacrament is not, like bread and wine, changed into our substance; but we are, in some wise, changed into its nature, so that we may well apply here the words of St. Augustine: I am the food of the frown. Grow and thou shalt eat Me; nor shalt thou change Me into thee, as thy bodily food, but thou shalt be changed into Me.”

In other words, “by this sacrament we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in his Body and Blood to form a single body.” (Cathecism 1331).

Or simply put, “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me and I in you” (John 6:56)

So, what’s this have to do with Blood Typing?

You see, I, like many, once believed that Jesus’ Body and Blood just enters our body during Holy Communion.  However, if that was the true theology of the Eucharist, Jesus’ divine Blood Type could be not AB.

Why?

Because theologically if Jesus’ Blood just enters us, He would be simply donating His sacred blood to all.

Science has shown that only Universal Donors can give blood to all without any harm to the recipient; only people with Blood Type O.  However, with Blood Type O, one could not receive blood from any other type, but their own.

The Church has always taught that during Holy Communion we unite with The Body of Christ.

Simply put, Jesus receives us all, body and soul, and unites us all, body and soul, in Him — and by all bodies, I mean all blood types.

Christ is therefore the Universal Acceptor, theologically and biologically.  Anyone who took High School Biology knows blood type of the universal acceptor.

That blood type is … AB Blood.

If the Shroud of Turin is a fake, how would the forgers get Jesus’ Blood Type theologically correct — centuries before science knew blood type existed?

Further, if these Eucharistic miracles were also all staged, how would all these Blood Types not just match, but also coincide theologically and biologically?

Coincidence?

Maybe, but the odds would favor coincidence to favor the most popular Blood Type.

Approximately, 47% of Italians have Blood Type O, while less than 4% share AB.  In Argentina, where the most recent miracle took place, half the population is Blood Type O. [note]

When you include Rh factors, the statistic of chance is almost eliminated.

Rh factor was discovered after the discovery of Blood Types — 40 years after!  Only one percent of the world population is AB-positive … the same Blood Type in the Eucharistic miracles in Buenos Aires and Lanciano — miracles which occurred 1,300 years apart.

The science is clear —  and because it’s clear, my Faith is sealed.

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The Theology of Jesus’ Blood Type

June 9, 2017 by Corporation You

I am often told that Religion has no place in science.  Oddly enough, science has not only formed my faith; science has sealed my Faith.

Most Christians have heard of the Shroud of Turin, the ancient relic that bears the image of a crucified male.  Blood typing has been done on the Shroud, and it was determined that the crucified male, who many believe to be Jesus of Nazareth, has AB blood.

A lesser know relic is the Sudarium of Oviedo, the cloth, that tradition teaches, covered the face of Jesus before He was wrapped in a burial shroud and laid in the tomb.  The blood on this cloth is also from a male and also Type AB.

There has also been several miracles where a consecrated Host miraculously became true flesh and began to bleed true blood.

One such miracle occurred in the 8th century.

A priest in Lanciano, Italy was doubting the real presence in the Eucharist while offering Mass, when suddenly the Eucharist miraculously turned into human flesh and blood.

Similarly, 500 years after the miracle of Lanciano, another priest, in Orvieto, Italy, who was also doubting the real presence of Jesus, similarly experienced a Eucharistic miracle where the host started bleeding all over his corporal (a cloth used in the liturgy).

You can still see the cloth on display in the Cathedral of Orvieto and the non-decomposing flesh and blood in the Church of San Francesco today.

Miracle of Buenos Aires

More recently, in 1996, another Eucharistic miracle occurred in Buenos Aires, Argentina when a consecrated Host was found on the ground and placed in a glass of water to dissolve, as is custom.

REPORT THIS AD

Days later, the Eucharist hadn’t dissolved at all — it had, however, turned into bloody Flesh.

The Cardinal and then-Bishop Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) had a photograph taken of the bloody Host, then stored the Host in a tabernacle to decompose.

Three years later, that same bloody Flesh remained!

That’s when Dr. Ricardo Castañón, a Bolivian neurophysiologist, was called in to have samples from the Host examined in a laboratory environment.

Doctor Castañón took it to the San Francisco Forensic Institute without telling anyone there what it was or where it came from. After testing, he was told the samples constituted heart muscle, specifically from the myocardium of the left ventricle.

Further, the tests showed the blood was human, with human DNA, and of the AB type — the same as found on the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo.  Upon further investigation, he also discovered the Host from the miracle of Lanciano was Blood Type AB, as well!

Coincidence?  Maybe?

But consider this: Blood Types were not discovered until 1900.  The discovery of Blood Type AB came along seven years later, in 1907. Maybe because it’s so rare?  Only four-percent of the World population has Blood Type AB.

Well, here’s where it gets interesting…

Where Science and Theology Merge

The Eucharist is the sacrament of communion with one another in the one body of Christ, writes Rev. Dr. Stany Antony OMI.  This, he continued, was the full meaning of eucharistic koinonia in the early Church.

Scriptures appears to be in agreement.

St. Paul tells us in Cor 10:16-17 that we just don’t participate in the Eucharist, we are in communion in the blood of Christ. “…nonne communicatio sanguinis?” as it is written in the Latin Vulgate; κοινωνία or koinonia in Greek.

Early Church Father and Orator,  St. John Chrysostom (c. 349 – 407) commenting on Paul’s words, — almost 1500 years before the discovery of blood types — said this:

REPORT THIS AD

The bread which we break, is it not a communion of the Body of Christ? Wherefore said he not, the participation? Because he intended to express something more and to point out how close was the union: in that we communicate not only by participating and partaking, but also by being united. For as that body is united to Christ, so also are we united to Him by this bread. (Homily 24 on First Corinthians: 4)

In 1485,  more than 400 years before the classification of blood based on the presence and absence of antibodies, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “…the Eucharist is the sacrament of the unity of the Church, which results from the fact that many are one in Christ”.

In 1566, almost 300 years before science established the ABO Blood Group System, the Church had this to say about the Eucharist:

For what bread and wine are to the body, the Eucharist is to the health and delight of the soul, but in a higher and better way. This Sacrament is not, like bread and wine, changed into our substance; but we are, in some wise, changed into its nature, so that we may well apply here the words of St. Augustine: I am the food of the frown. Grow and thou shalt eat Me; nor shalt thou change Me into thee, as thy bodily food, but thou shalt be changed into Me.”

In other words, “by this sacrament we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in his Body and Blood to form a single body.” (Cathecism 1331).

Or simply put, “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me and I in you” (John 6:56)

So, what’s this have to do with Blood Typing?

You see, I, like many, once believed that Jesus’ Body and Blood just enters our body during Holy Communion.  However, if that was the true theology of the Eucharist, Jesus’ divine Blood Type could be not AB.

Why?

Because theologically if Jesus’ Blood just enters us, He would be simply donating His sacred blood to all.

Science has shown that only Universal Donors can give blood to all without any harm to the recipient; only people with Blood Type O.  However, with Blood Type O, one could not receive blood from any other type, but their own.

The Church has always taught that during Holy Communion we unite with The Body of Christ.

Simply put, Jesus receives us all, body and soul, and unites us all, body and soul, in Him — and by all bodies, I mean all blood types.

Christ is therefore the Universal Acceptor, theologically and biologically.  Anyone who took High School Biology knows blood type of the universal acceptor.

That blood type is … AB Blood.

If the Shroud of Turin is a fake, how would the forgers get Jesus’ Blood Type theologically correct — centuries before science knew blood type existed?

Further, if these Eucharistic miracles were also all staged, how would all these Blood Types not just match, but also coincide theologically and biologically?

Coincidence?

Maybe, but the odds would favor coincidence to favor the most popular Blood Type.

Approximately, 47% of Italians have Blood Type O, while less than 4% share AB.  In Argentina, where the most recent miracle took place, half the population is Blood Type O. [note]

When you include Rh factors, the statistic of chance is almost eliminated.

Rh factor was discovered after the discovery of Blood Types — 40 years after!  Only one percent of the world population is AB-positive … the same Blood Type in the Eucharistic miracles in Buenos Aires and Lanciano — miracles which occurred 1,300 years apart.

The science is clear —  and because it’s clear, my Faith is sealed.Would you buy the book “Theology of Jesus’s Blood Type”?YesNoOther:VoteView ResultsCrowdsignal.com

James Dobkowski

James Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul,  the book series Hail Mary. and two children books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to All.   For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

#53 Pope St. John I

23 Johns ago, there was a First!Pope St. John IPope from 523-526 A.D.Died: 526 A.D.Give me the scoop on John…

Posted by Idaho Knights Of Columbus Pro-Life on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

23 Johns ago, there was a First!

Pope St. John I

Pope from 523-526 A.D.
Died: 526 A.D.

Give me the scoop on John I.
The first of over 20 popes to be called “John” was born in Tuscany in 470, but moved to Rome at a young age. He served as a priest for most of his life, and was already sickly and somewhat frail at his election on August 13, 523. Most of his time in office was spent wrestling with the centuries-old battle between Arian Christians — those who said Christ wasn’t divine — and the true Church (more on that in a minute). John I died at the age of 56 on May 18, 526 and was eventually interred in St. Peter’s Basilica, having been pope for two years, nine months, and seven days. He was immediately venerated as a martyr, and his feast is celebrated on May 18.

What was he known for?
The death of the Byzantine emperor, Anastasius I, paved the way for a new emperor, Justin I around the time of St. John I’s election. This new ruler was a Catholic who, wishing to eradicate Arianism in his territories, reversed many prior edicts tolerating the heresy and made demands on Arian property and professions of faith. Theodoric, the Arian king of Italy, threw a bit of a tantrum upon hearing about this, and demanded that the pope go to Constantinople to help the Justin reconsider his moves.

When John I arrived, the people were ecstatic (“you guys…THE POPE IS HERE”) since the pope, you know, never came to Constantinople. John was given a welcome one fit for St. Peter himself, with even the emperor himself prostrating himself at John’s feet. Though some concessions were made, the conversations with Justin on rescinding the demands against the Arians were likely half-hearted, but were done moreso out of a desire for unity than a disdain for Arian Christians themselves (think: hate the sin, love the sinner). Upon John’s return from Constantinople, Theodoric was still a liiiittle upset, so he had John thrown in prison before the latter could return to Rome. John, being of ill health, could no longer handle the stress of the situation and died a few days later.

Fun fact: Of the 23 popes (and 4 antipopes) named John, only the first and the last (John I & John XXIII) are recognized as saints in the Roman Church.

What else was going on in the world at the time?
Around the same time John I died, a great earthquake reaching a magnitude near 7.0, followed by ensuing fires, struck Antioch (modern-day Turkey & Syria), killing an estimated 250,000 people in the region.

Coming tomorrow….Pope St. Felix IV (III)

SOURCES (and further reading)
John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Pope St. John I – http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08421a.htm
Pope John I – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_John_I
526 Antioch Earthquake – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/526_Antioch_earthquake

#95, Pope Adrian I

Pope from February 1, 772 – December 25, 795

Lived: c. 700 – December 25, 795


Give me the scoop on Adrian I.

A Roman by birth, Adrian set himself up well to follow Stephen III and take over the papacy at such an uneasy time in the Church’s history. Adrian was from a noble family, had been a valuable steward to both Paul I and Stephen III before him, and (perhaps most important) he was a pious man to boot. These qualities of Adrian’s helped the Roman clergy fend off a coup from the Lombards to put Stephen’s rogue assistant, Paul Afiarta, on the throne. At the election, Rome’s clergy unanimously said, “Yo, Adrian,” consecrating him pope on February 1, 772.
One of Adrian’s major successes in office was helping quash the iconoclast heresy once and for all. In the Seventh Ecumenical Council, at Nicea in 787, the question was settled and the use of images in veneration and worship approved. Though we’re unsure how large a role the pope played, Adrian I nevertheless approved the council’s findings at its closing. Adrian I died on Christmas Day, 795, and was buried in St. Peter’s Basilica.

What was he known for?

Adrian I’s near-quarter-century in office was mostly occupied in solidifying relations with Charlemagne and the Frankish Kingdom, and managing the lands he’d been given by Pepin (Charlemagne’s dad) in northern and central Italy. Charlemagne, a zealous and faithful Catholic ruler, came to the pope’s aid in defeating the Lombard king, Desiderius, and ultimately drove them from Italy for good in 774. It was then that Charlemagne reaffirmed his father’s gift to the Church a decade and a half earlier.  
After his win over the Lombards, Charlemagne traveled to Rome and spent Easter with Adrian I. It was there that he also asked the pope to help him unify western Europe under canon law. Adrian was happy to do so, and provided the king with a compendium of the law from the Sixth Century, which had recently been updated and enlivened by Adrian. This move eventually helped Catholics see the pope as the source of guidance on Church law, no matter how large or small.

Fun fact: 

Adrian’s reign of 23 years, ten months, and four days was the longest of any successor of St. Peter up to that point in history, and remained so for a millennium afterward. Holding the silver medal behind St. Peter (34 or 37 years) for the next 1,003 years, it wasn’t until Pius VI’s papacy from 1775-1799 that Adrian I relinquished second place. He’s now No. 6 on the list of longest-serving popes, behind Peter, Bl. Pius IX (1846-1878), St. John Paul II (1978-2005), Leo XIII (1878-1903), and Pius VI.

What else was going on in the world at the time?

783 was a rough year for Charlemagne. On April 30, his wife, Hildegard, died in childbirth after bearing her ninth child in 12 years. Just months later, Charlemagne’s mother, Bertrada of Laon, died and was buried next to Pepin at the Abbey of St. Denis in Paris. He did, however, marry again in October.

SOURCES (and further reading)John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Pope Adrian I – http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01155b.htm
Pope Adrian I – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Adrian_I
780s – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/780s