Women Can Be Priests

Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008

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Sophie
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/20 15:50:06 (permalink)
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Dear friends,

The ancient diaconate of women was a sacrament.  (It is recently being restored in the Greek Orthodox Church... see: the view from the Greek Orthodox Church.) In his article Facing Up to Women in Holy Orders: Deacons in the Past, Priests for Now, our Academic Advisor Dr. Wijngaards observes:

In the discussion on admitting women to Holy Orders, the ordination of the first millennium women deacons has assumed a new role. For one of the key arguments the Vatican handles against the ordination of women is the assertion that women were never admitted to Holy Orders. Well, they are wrong. Women did receive a valid ‘sacramental’ ordination to the diaconate.
In this article he reviews:
  • the historical reality of ordained women deacons
  • the Ordination Rite for women deacons
  • early women deacons and the sacrament of holy orders
  • the setting of the ordination
  • the public character of the ordination
  • the 'Divine Grace' proclamation
  • the calling down of the Spirit
  • the second ordination prayer
  • parallelism in all essentials with the ordination of male deacons
Dr. Wijngaards shares the observation that all the symbolism surrounding the imparting of ordination to the women signified its being a real sacrament:
  • its setting in the heart of the eucharist,
  • the presence of the clergy and the faithful,
  • the proclamation of divine election through the hallowed ‘Divine Grace’ formula,
  • the epiclesis of the Holy Spirit on the ordinand
  • and the addition of the second, ekphonese prayer of ordination.
Through this symbolism the ordaining bishop indicated, both to the ordinand and to the assembled congregation, his unmistakable intention to impart a full, sacramental diaconate ordination to the woman. If it was not a full sacrament, then neither was the ordination of bishops, priests and male deacons.

Dr. Wijngaards' conclusion: "Since women in the past did receive the sacrament of the diaconate, they are obviously capable of receiving holy orders as such, that means: also the priesthood and episcopacy." You can reach the complete article via this link: http://www.womenpriests.org/deacons/hobart.asp.  If you have any questions, please let me know.
 
with love and blessings,
 
~Sophie~
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/20 15:53:14 (permalink)
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From the Orthodox Herald:
 
DEACONESSES

Saint Olympiada or Olympias, whose memory we celebrate on July 25, was a deaconess in the early church. The office of deaconess is described in the New Testament and Phoebe was called a deaconess in Romans 16: 1. This office is codified in the "Didascalia" written in the first half of the 3rd century and in the "Apostolic Constitutions" written in the later part of the 4th century. It is also mentioned at the 4th Ecumenical Council which met in Chalcedon in 451.

At first, only widows who had been married only once were admitted to the office. Later, virgins were also admitted. The age of admission varied through the years from 40-60 years of age. Once admitted they were not allowed to marry.

Deaconesses were ordained in the altar by a bishop by the imposition of hands. They were robed in a stichar and an orarion (deacon's stole). They were addressed as "reverend", "Most honorable" or "most pious". The episcopal prayers of ordination of a deaconess have not been revoked by the Orthodox Church and they can still be found in the books.

The deaconess had specific duties. Among them was to instruct privately female candidates for baptism, to assist at their baptism which was by total immersion, they did the anointing with oil at the baptism as it was not considered proper for the male clergy to touch a woman, they visited and cared for the sick, they were present at interviews of women with the bishops or priests, they dismissed women catechumens from the church and kept general order in the women's section of the church (men and women were segregated as they were up to about 25 years ago in our churches in America), and they did other duties delegated by the bishop like helping the poor. They were in a sense the educators of women in the faith and social workers. Deaconesses were ordained in the Eastern Church as late as the 12th century. The office was disused in the Western Church somewhat earlier.

Saint Olympiada born in 366 in Constantinople to the Senator Secunda was to become a deaconess.

At eighteen she married a prefect of the city. One of the gifts she received was a letter of advice written in verse to her by St. Gregory Nazianzius. Unfortunately she was widowed in less than two years. As she was an attractive, young, extremely wealthy widow, Emperor Theodosius tried to get her to marry his cousin, Elpida. Olympidia wrote the Emperor a letter in which she said: "If God willed me to live in a married state, He would not have taken my husband whom I dearly loved."

Theodosius was angered by her reply and took action against her. He named administrators to take charge of her immense wealth until she was thirty years old.

However, when she was 25, she was able to persuade the emperor to return control of her assets to her. She had begun to give her whole life to works of Christianity from the time of her widowhood. With the return of her money she increased her charitable giving. She gave to churches and monasteries, to homes for the homeless, to alleviate suffering in prisons, and to homes for exiles. Soon, she was besieged by requests and many took advantage of her kindnesses even some of those whom she had already helped. Saint John Chrysostom, who was impressed by her charity felt need to write to her highly instructive letters warning her to be more discriminating in her benefactions. These letters survive.

As for herself, she lived an austere lifestyle with other deaconesses. She renounced earthly pleasures and gave most of her time over to prayer and charitable works.

She had been ordained a deaconess earlier by the bishop of Constantinople. Among her other duties, he consulted her on matters concerning the church.

She served Saint John Chrysostom as she would a father and ultimately she was one of the few faithful who remained loyal to him when he endured his banishments from Constantinople. She had to endure severe persecutions starting with rumors and finally exile for supporting his cause and refusing to recognize the intruded successor to Saint John Chrysostom at the Cathedral. She was charged with conspiring to burn the cathedral, she was heavily fined and from that time matters became almost intolerable. the enemies of Saint John became her enemies. She didn't have anyone to turn to for advice, solace, or protection. Her properties and wealth were ultimately seized, she was robbed and everything she had left was confiscated.

Her last days were spent in a monastery which she had founded, but even here she did not escape harassment. She died in 408 at 42 years of age.

-Taken from the Orthodox Herald, Hunlock Creek, PA, July 1988, Vol. 37 No. 3 Issue 434 - Reprinted with permission
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/20 15:55:10 (permalink)
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For more about Olympias and ordained women deacons, see here:

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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/20 16:09:17 (permalink)
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Saint Olympias, ordained woman deacon
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/20 16:16:11 (permalink)
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Saint Wivina
Feastday:  December 17

1170
 
Resolved to model her life on Abraham and to leave home. A young man, Richard has sought her hand in marriage, and when she refused him, he became desperately ill. She prayed & fasted for his recovery. On being restored to health he resolved to imitate Wivina's holy life. At the age of 23,  she became a hermit near Brussels with a likeminded woman. Eventually their hermitage became a convent of Grand Bigard, with Wivina as first abbess.
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/27 22:52:59 (permalink)
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December 22 in 1917 marked the death of Mother Cabrini, first American citizen canonized by the Catholic Church (b. 1850.)


Mother Cabrini

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (July 15, 1850-December 22, 1917) was born Maria Francesca Cabrini in Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, in Lombarcy, the youngest of thirteen children of Agostino Cabrini and Stella Oldini. Two months premature, she remained in delicate health throughout her 67 years of life.

At 13, she was sent to Arluno to study under the Daughters of the Sacred Heart, and at 18 she was certified as a teacher. Four years later she contracted smallpox, and because of this, she was refused admission into that order and into the Canossians as well. Finally, she took religious vows in 1877, becoming the mother superior of the House of Providence orphanage in Codogno, where she was teaching.

In 1880, the orphanage was closed and she became one of the seven founding members of the
Institute of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSC). Mother Cabrini composed the rules and constitution of the order, and she continued as its superior-general until her death.

The order established seven homes and a free school and nursery in its first five years. Its good works brought Mother Cabrini to the attention of Bishop Giovanni Scalabrini of Piacenza
and of Pope Leo XIII.

Although her lifelong dream was to be a missionary in China
, the Pope sent her to New York City on March 31, 1889. There, she obtained the permission of Archbishop Michael Corrigan to found an orphanage, which is located in West Park, Ulster County, NY today and is known as Saint Cabrini Home, the first of 67 institutions she founded in New York, Chicago, Seattle, New Orleans, Denver, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and in countries throughout South America and Europe. Long after her death, the Missionary Sisters would achieve Mother Cabrini's goal of being a missionary to China. After much social and religious upheaval and only a short time, the sisters left China, and subsequently a Siberian placement.

She was naturalized as an American citizen in 1909.



Mother Cabrini died of complications from malaria at Columbus Hospital in Chicago. Though originally entombed in West Park, NY after her death on December 22, 1917, her remains were exhumed from West Park in 1931 and are now enshrined on display under glass in the church's altar at St. Frances Cabrini Shrine, 701 Fort Washington Avenue, in the Manhattan neighborhood of Hudson Heights. The street to the west of the shrine was renamed Cabrini Boulevard in her honour.

She was beatified on November 13, 1938 and canonized on July 7, 1946 by Pope Pius XII. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini is the patron saint of imigrants. Her beatification miracle involved the restoration of sight to a child who had been blinded by excess silver nitratr in the eyes. Her canonization miracle involved the healing of a terminally ill nun. Her body is incorrupt.

The
Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago is named after her, due to her work with Italian immigrants in the location. It has since become a haven for underprivileged and poor people and the MSC sisters still work there. Cabrini College in Radnor, Pennsylvania, also bears her name.

The Cabrini Mission Foundation is an organization committed to advancing St. Frances Xavier Cabrini's mission and legacy of healing, teaching, and caring around the world.

Her feast day is November 13.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Cabrini
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/27 22:54:02 (permalink)
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Saint Anastasia
Feast day:  December 22 Eastern Orthodox 
                December 25, Roman Catholic
 
Saint Anastasia (Greek Ἀναστασία: "resurrection", often Ἁγία Ἀναστασία ἡ Φαρμακολύτρια, "St. Anastasia the Healer" ) was a Christian saint and martyr who died at Sirmium. Concerning Anastasia little is reliably known, save that she died in the persecutions of Diocletian.  Most stories about her date from several centuries after her death and make her variously a Roman or Sirmian native and a Roman citizen of
patrician rank. One legend makes her the daughter of a certain Praetextus and the pupil of Saint Chrysogonus.


Saint Anastasia, with a book and palm.
Book of Hours. Liège; c. 1250-1300.
 
Anastasia has long been venerated as a healer and exorcist. Her remains lie in the Cathedral of St. Anastasia in Zadar, Croatia.

She is one of seven women, excluding the Blessed Virgin, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anastasia_of_Sirmium
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/27 22:54:36 (permalink)
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Blessed Jutta of Diessenberg, OSB, Abbess (AC)
(also known as Judith)
Feastday:  December 22

Born in Germany, Jutta died in 1136.  She was the sister of Meginhard, Count Palatine of Spanheim. The saint retired to a cell near the monastery-church of Disenberg (Disibodi Mons). Soon a group of dedicated Christian women gathered around her and she formed them into a Benedictine community of which she was abbess for 20 years. Entrusted to the care of Jutta was a weak girl who was to become one of Germany's greatest mystics, Saint Hildegard of Bingen. Jutta taught the young girl to read Latin, cared for her physical needs, and taught her hymns and the Psalms.

When Jutta died in 1136, Hildegard became prioress in her place. Hildegard added her own testimony to Jutta's goodness. 'Jutta was like a river with many tributaries,' she wrote, 'overflowing with the grace of God. Until the very moment that a joyful death freed her from this mortal life, she never ceased to fast, pray, and wait on God, keeping her body under control by many acts of penance.' Countless men and women of the region continued to venerate Jutta's memory and visit her tomb (Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia).

http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/1222.shtml
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/27 22:55:32 (permalink)
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Great Martyr Anastasia of Rome
http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Anastasia.htm

Great Martyr Anastasia of Rome
Also known as Anastasia of Sirmium
Feast day December 22 in the Eastern Rites
          December 25 in the West

This Saint, who was from Rome, was a most comely, wealthy, and virtuous maiden, the daughter of Praepextatus and Fausta. It was her mother who instructed her in the Faith of Christ. The Saint was joined to a man named Publius Patricius, who was prodigal in life and impious in disposition, but she was widowed after a short time. Henceforth, she went about secretly to the dwellings of the poor and the prisons where the Martyrs of Christ were, and brought them whatever was needed for their daily subsistence. She washed their wounds and loosed them from their fetters, and consoled them in their anguish. Also, because the Saint, through her intercessions, has healed many from the ill effects of spells, potions, poisons, and other harmful substances, she has received the name "Deliverer from Potions." Since the fame of her deeds had spread about, she was arrested by Diocletian's minions, and after enduring many torments she was put to death by fire in the year 290.

http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/saints.asp?contentid=348
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/27 22:56:58 (permalink)
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Icons of Saint Anastasia
http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Anastasia.htm

THE GREAT VIRGIN-MARTYR ANASTASIA, DELIVERER FROM POTIONS
December 22nd
Της Αγίας Μεγαλομάρτυρος Αναστασίας της Φαρμακολυτρίας

The Great Martyr Anastasia the Deliverer from Potions, a Roman by birth, suffered for Christ during the time of Diocletian's persecution of Christians. Her father was a pagan, but her mother was secretly a Christian. St. Anastasia's teacher in her youth was an educated and pious Christian named Chrysogonos. After the death of her mother, her father gave St. Anastasia in marriage to a pagan named Publius, but feigning illness, she preserved her virginity.


Clothing herself in the garb of a beggar, and accompanied by only one servant, she visited the prisons. She fed, doctored and often ransomed captives who were suffering for their faith in Christ. When her servant told Publius about everything, he subjected his wife to a beating and locked her up at home. St. Anastasia then began to correspond secretly with Chrysogonos, who told the saint to be patient, to cleave to the Cross of Christ, and to accept the Lord's will. He also foretold the impending death of Publius in the sea. After a certain while Publius did indeed drown, as he was setting out with a delegation to Persia. After the death of her husband, St. Anastasia began to distribute her property to the poor and suffering.

Diocletian was informed that the Christians who filled the prisons of Rome stoically endured tortures. He gave orders to kill them all in a single night, and for Chrysogonos to be sent to him at Aquileia. St. Anastasia followed her teacher at a distance.

The emperor interrogated Chrysogonos personally, but could not make him renounce his faith. Therefore, he commanded that he be beheaded and thrown into the sea. The body and severed head of the holy martyr were carried to shore by the waves. There by divine Providence, the relics were found by a presbyter named Zoilus who placed them in a coffer, and concealed them at his home.

St. Chrysogonos appeared to Zoilus and informed him that martyrdom was at hand for Agape, Chione and Irene (April 16), three sisters who lived nearby. He told him to send St. Anastasia to them to encourage them. St. Chrysogonos foretold that Zoilus would also die on the same day. Nine days later, the words of St. Chrysogonos were fulfilled. Zoilus fell asleep in the Lord, and St. Anastasia visited the three maidens before their tortures. When these three martyrs gave up their souls to the Lord, she buried them.

Having carried out her teacher's request, the saint went from city to city ministering to Christian prisoners. Proficient in the medical arts of the time, she zealously cared for captives far and wide, healing their wounds and relieving their suffering. Because of her labors, St. Anastasia received the name Deliverer from Potions (Pharmakolytria), since by her intercessions she has healed many from the effects of potions, poisons, and other harmful substances.

She made the acquaintance of the pious young widow Theodote, finding in her a faithful helper. Theodote was taken for questioning when it was learned that she was a Christian. Meanwhile, St. Anastasia was arrested in Illyricum. This occurred just after all the Christian captives there had been murdered in a single night by order of Diocletian. St. Anastasia had come to one of the prisons, and finding no one there, she began to weep loudly. The jailers realized that she was a Christian and took her to the governor of the district, who tried to persuade her to deny Christ by threatening her with torture. After his unsuccessful attempts to persuade St. Anastasia to offer sacrifice to idols, he handed her over to the pagan priest Ulpian in Rome.

The cunning pagan offered St. Anastasia the choice between luxury and riches, or grievous sufferings. He set before her gold, precious stones and fine clothing, and also fearsome instruments of torture. The crafty man was put to shame by the bride of Christ. St. Anastasia refused the riches and chose the tools of torture.

But the Lord prolonged the earthly life of the saint, and Ulpian gave her three days to reconsider. Charmed by Anastasia's beauty, the pagan priest decided to defile her purity. However, when he tried to touch her he suddenly became blind. His head began to ache so severely that he screamed like a madman. He asked to be taken to a pagan temple to appeal to the idols for help, but on the way he fell down and died.

St. Anastasia was set free and she and Theodote again devoted themselves to the care of imprisoned Christians. Before long, St. Theodote and her three sons accepted a martyrdom. Her eldest son, Evodus, stood bravely before the judge and endured beatings without protest. After lengthy torture, they were all thrown into a red-hot oven.

St. Anastasia was caught again and condemned to death by starvation. She remained in prison without food for sixty days. St. Theodote appeared to the martyr every night and gave her courage. Seeing that hunger caused St. Anastasia no harm whatsoever, the judge sentenced her to drowning together with other prisoners. Among them was Eutychianos, who was condemned for his Christian faith.

The prisoners were put onto a ship which went out into the open sea. The soldiers bored holes in the ship and got into a boat. St. Theodote appeared to the captives and guided the ship to shore. When they reached dry land, 120 men believed in Christ and were baptized by Sts. Anastasia and Eutychianos. All were captured and received a martyr's crown. St. Anastasia was stretched between four pillars and burned alive. A certain pious woman named Apollinaria buried her body, which was unharmed by the fire, in the garden outside her house.

In the fifth century the relics of St. Anastasia were transferred to Constantinople, where a church was built and dedicated to her. Later the head and a hand of the Great Martyr were transferred to the monastery of St. Anastasia [Deliverer from Potions], near Mount Athos.

http://www.stirene.org/Archives/December/1222-StAnastasia.htm
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/27 22:57:24 (permalink)
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Dear friends,

As we remember the woman martyrs such as Saint Annastasia,  we have an opportunity to learn about the role they play in the case for women's ordination.

Through their presence as heroic martyrs for our faith, women no less than men have throughout Catholic history witnessed to their Christian faith unto death. According to ancient tradition, men or women on the way to martyrdom had the power to forgive sins.  They share in the power of the keys binding and loosing sins on behalf of Christ -- one of the sacramental ministries of a priest.

The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus (3rd cent) states that any ‘confessor’ imprisoned for faith automatically attained the rank of presbyter (priest) in the Roman communities.

Sts. Irenaeus (2nd cent) and Cyprian (3rd cent) apply this ‘power of martyrdom’ equally to women confessors. Since women, too, shared in the power of the keys, binding and loosening on behalf of Christ, women, too belong in Holy Orders.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/27 22:58:01 (permalink)
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Sant'Anastasia


Sant'Anstasia, Titular Church of Rome

Sant' Anastasia is a church dedicated to the martyr St Anastasia.

The first church here was built in the late 3rd or early 4th century, and was one of the first parish churches, tituli, of ancient Rome. It was given by a woman called Anastasia and called titulus Anastasiae after her. It is mentioned in the catalogue of the Roman Synod of 499. Later, it was dedicated to a martyr of the same name. Parts of the 4th century church, as well as parts from the rebuilding in the 6th century, are preserved. It was the official church of representatives of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) empire who resided on the Palatine.

It was restored under Pope St Damasus I (366-383), Pope St Hilarius (461-468), Pope John VII (705-707), Pope St Leo III (795-816) who enlarged it and Pope Gregory IV (827-844).

It is listed in the Catalogue of Turin as a presbyterial title with six clerics.

The present church is the result of a 17th century rebuilding under Urban VIII (16231644), with some changes made in 1721.

The first titular priest of the church that we know of was St Jerome (died 420), Doctor of the Church. However, he was never actually a cardinal. He was given the title posthumously by in the 13th century, and assigned to this church because of his connections with it (see below).

The present titular priest is Godfried Daneels, Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, who was appointed in 1983

Exterior

The façade dates from the 17th century. A new façade had been built between 1598 and 1618, but it was destroyed by a whirlwind in 1638. The rebuilding was carried out by L. Arrigucci, who has studied under Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Underneath the church are the ruins of an ancient portico from the 1st century AD, as well as ruins of a group of insulae (multi-storied dwellings).

Interior

The interior was restored at the request of Nunho da Cunha Ataíde in the early 18th century and again under Pius VII (18001823) and Pius IX (18461878).

The columns placed against the pillars in the nave are from the original basilica.

Beneath the high altar is a statue of St Anastasia by F. Aprile and Ercole Ferrata, clearly influenced by the work of Bernini.

The altar of the Holy Cross was dedicated to the Confraternity of the Cross and St Anastasia in
1615. The confraternity was a guild of tailors and coat-makers.

On the right side is an altar to St
Turibius, a Spanish priest and Bishop of Lima. Turibius baptized St Rose of Lima and St Martin de Porres, some of the most popular saints of South America. Because of this altar, there is a tradition that the Peruvian ambassador assists at Mass on the first Sunday of May.

The altar on the left side is ancient, and according
to tradition, St Jerome offered Mass and St Gregory the Great distributed ashes on Ash Wednesday here. A chalice preserved in the church is thought to have been used by St Jerome. The outer baldachino is in the style of the Cosmati.

The Chapel of the Relics dates from the 17th century. The paintings of the lives of St Charles Borromeo and St Philip Neri are by Lazarro Baldi.

In the last chapel on the left side is a painting of St Jerome, attributed to Domenichino.

Liturgy

The church has perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and is therefore open 24 hours a day.

St Anastasia is celebrated on 25 December, and since the time of Pope Leo the Great (440-461) the church has been the station church for Mass at dawn on Christmas Day. It has become tradition that students from several colleges take part in this celebration.

http://romanchurches.wikia.com/wiki/Sant'Anastasia
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/27 22:58:54 (permalink)
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Died December 23 in 1771 - Marie-Marguerite d'Youville, Canadian saint (b. 1701)


Saint Marie-Marguerite d'Youville
 
Saint Marie-Marguerite d'Youville' (née Marie-Marguerite Dufrost de Lajemmerais) (October 5, 1701-December 23, 1771) was born at Varennes, near Montreal, Quebec in Canada.

She was the first native Canadian to be elevated to sainthood by the Catholic Church, having been beatified by Pope John XXIII in 1959 and canonised in 1990. Her feast day is April 11.

She founded the Order of Sisters of Charity of the Hôpital Général of Montreal, commonly called the Grey Nuns of Montreal, in 1738.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie-Marguerite_d%27Youville
 
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/27 22:59:49 (permalink)
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St. Adele
Feastday: December 24
730

St. Adele, Widow. A daughter of King Dagobert II of Germany, St. Adele became a nun upon the death of her husband, making provisions for her son, the future father of St. Gregory of Utrecht.

She founded a convent at Palatiolum near Trier and became its first Abbess, ruling with holiness, prudence, and compassion. St. Adele seems to have been among the disciples of St. Boniface, the Apostle of Germany, and a letter in his correspondence is addressed to her.

After a devout life filled with good works and communion with God, she passed on to her heavenly reward in 730.

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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 00:41:09 (permalink)
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Saint Nicarete (5th century)
an early Byzantine female physician
Feast day: December 27

Saint Nicarete  was a woman of Nicomedia who became a saint as a disciple of St. John Chrysostom. She left her home specifically to study theology and practice devotion and care for the poor in Constantinople.

She became a follower of John Chrysostom and worked as a physician as well as a healer for the poor. She cured John Chysostom of a stomach ailment. Later, when Chrysostom was sent into exile from Constantinople, she went with him.

Her feast day in the west is December 27.
Sophie
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 00:42:20 (permalink)
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Saint Nicarete
also known as Nicarus of Constantinople
Memorial December 27

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Wealthy Byzantine noble woman who lived in Constantinople in private vows of chastity, and used her possition to help the poor and sick. Close friend of Saint John Chrysostom, and was exiled with him. When the soldiers came to escort her from the city, and steal any money or jewels she was taking on the trip, they found she had nothing left - she had already given all her possessions to the poor.

Born in Nicomedia
Died c. 405 of natural causes

Reading:

Among the zealous men and excellent women who adopted this latter measure was Nicarete, a lady of Bithynia. She belonged to a noted family of the nobility, and was celebrated on account of her perpetual virginity and her virtuous life. She was the most modest of all the zealous women that we have ever known, and was well ordered in manner and speech and in behavior, and throughout her life she invariably preferred the service of God to all earthly considerations. She showed herself capable of enduring with courage and thought the sudden reversals of adverse affairs; she saw herself unjustly despoiled of the greater part of her ample patrimony without manifesting any indignation, and managed the little that remained to her with so much economy, that although she was advanced in age, she contrived to supply all the wants of her household, and to contribute largely to others.

Since she loved a humane spirit, she also prepared a variety of remedies for the needs of the sick poor, and she frequently succeeded in curing patients who had derived no benefit from the skill of the customary physicians. With a devout strength which assisted her in reaching the best results, she closed her lips. To sum up all in a few words, we have never known a devoted woman endowed with such manners, gravity, and every other virtue. Although she was so extraordinary, she concealed the greater part of her nature and deeds; for by modesty of character and philosophy she was always studious of concealment. She would not accept of the office of deaconess, nor of instructress of the virgins consecrated to the service of the Church, because she accounted herself unworthy, although the honor was frequently pressed upon her by John.

- from Ecclesiastical History, chapter 23, by Hermias Sozomen, translated by Chester D Hartranft

http://www.catholicforum.com/saints/saintn00.htm
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 00:54:08 (permalink)
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Born December 28, 1872:

 
St. Marie Amandine
1872 - 1900

 
Also known as:

  • The Laughing Foreigner
  • Pauline Jeuris

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One of seven children in a pious family, three of her siblings went into religious life. Her mother died when Marie was seven, her father was forced to move to find work, and she was adopted by another   village family.  She became a Fransiscan tertiary at age fifteen and joined the Institute of Fransiscan Missionaries of Mary, taking the name Marie Amandine. Marie worked as a nurse in Marseilles, then in the mission hospital and orphanage in Taiyuanfu, China. Her career ended during a crackdown on foreign missionaries during the Boxer Rebellion. One of the Martyrs of Shanxi and the Martyrs of China.

Born: December 28, 1872 in Herk-la-Ville, Belgium as Pauline Jeuris

Died: by beheading on July 9, 1900 at Taiyuanfu, China

Beatified: November 24, 1946 by Pope Pius XII

Canonized: October 1, 2000 by Pope John Paul II in Rome

Additional Information: Chinese Martyrs Catholic Church

Pauline was born in Belgium on Dec. 28, 1872. Her mother died when she was seven, leaving her to be adopted by a good and loving family. Cheerful by nature, she spread joy all around and people considered her a little Franciscan.

This she became later by entering the Institute of Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, with the name Marie Amandine. Her first assignment was to Marseilles to nurse the sick. Her second was to Taiyuan to work in the mission hospital. There her hands were full, with patients suffering from various diseases and terrible infection an wounds. Besides that, there were many ill among the 200 or more orphans. She wrote home describing that work and terrible situation, expressing her gratitude that she had been prepared for it by the assignment to Marseilles.

Her humor and joyfulness gained for her the esteem of the Chinese, who called her "the laughing foreigner". Mother M. Hermine wrote of her: "Sr. Amandine is one of the youngest in the community. She sings and laughs all day. It is good to have such a merry person in the missions. The cross becomes more bearable with joy."

When she heard the news that a persecution was approaching, Sr. Amandine said: "I pray God, not to save the martyrs, but to fortify them." With true Franciscan joy she and her companions went to meet death singing the Te Deum, the hymn of thanksgiving. That happened on July 9, 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion, in Taiyuan.

All the seven Sisters, including Sr. Marie Amandine, were beatified by Pope Pius XII on November 24, 1946, and canonized together on October 1, 2000, by Pope John Paul II.

http://www.chinesemartyrs.org/chinese_saints/100-e.htm
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 00:55:24 (permalink)
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Dear friends,

As we remember women martyrs like Saint Marie Amandine and her companions,  we have an opportunity to learn about the role they play in the case for women's ordination.

Through their presence as heroic martyrs for our faith, women no less than men have throughout Catholic history witnessed to their Christian faith unto death. According to ancient tradition, men or women on the way to martyrdom had the power to forgive sins.  They share in the power of the keys binding and loosing sins on behalf of Christ -- one of the sacramental ministries of a priest.

The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus (3rd cent) states that any ‘confessor’ imprisoned for faith automatically attained the rank of presbyter (priest) in the Roman communities.

Sts. Irenaeus (2nd cent) and Cyprian (3rd cent) apply this ‘power of martyrdom’ equally to women confessors. Since women, too, shared in the power of the keys, binding and loosening on behalf of Christ, women, too belong in Holy Orders.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~
Sophie
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 00:55:52 (permalink)
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Saints Indes, Domna, Agapes, Theopila and 20,000 martyrs
Feastday: December 28
 
Died 303. Martyrs under Diocletian at Nicomedia (Benedictines).
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 00:56:24 (permalink)
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20,000 Martyrs burned in Nicomedia
Feastday December 28
 
All these Saints, some 20,000 in number, were burned alive in the year 303, while they were gathered in church. This came to pass during the reign of Diocletian and Maximian. According to the Synaxarion, this took place on the day of Christ's Nativity. Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. VIII, 6) says that, of the Christians then living in Nicomedia, all were slain by imperial decree - some by the sword, and others by fire, and that, because of their divine and inexpressible ardour, both men and women cast themselves into the fire. Besides those burned in church. the following, who were slain in the same Persecution, are commemorated today. Indus, Gorgonius, and Peter were cast into the sea; Glycerius the Presbyter and Mardonius were burned; Dorotheus the Prefect and Zeno were beheaded; Theophilus the Deacon was stoned; Mygdonius was buried alive; and Domna, who had been a priestess of the idols, believed in Christ, and was baptized, was beheaded and cast into the fire.

http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/saints.asp?contentid=357

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