Women Can Be Priests

Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008

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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 00:57:26 (permalink)
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MARÍA DE LA LUZ CAMACHO GONZÁLEZ 
Martyr for Catholic Action, and 25 Mexican Martyrs
Feastday: December 30


  
 
Maria, born May 17, 1907 in Tacubaya, Distrito Federal, Mexico, was a layperson in the Archdiocese of Mexico.

A member of the Secular Fransiscans, she was in charge of the Catholic Action group in her home town Coyoacán during the communist persecution of the Church in México in the 1930’s. She worked tirelessly collecting clothes and funds for the poor, teaching catechism and literacy.

She died at the hands of a communist mob in 1934 while she was guarding her parish church with children inside who were attending mass. Her feastday is December 30.

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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 00:57:52 (permalink)
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from the wikipedia Spanish pages -- with some help from an internet translator -- ie, warning -- there is much room for development in my Spanish skills!  A link to the Spanish page has been provided at the end for those among us adept in that language.

Servant of God Maria de la Luz Cirenia Camacho Gonzales
Martyr (Mexico City, Mexico, born May 17, 1907, died December 30, 1934)


Maria de la Luz Camacho Gonzalez

First years

María de la Luz Camacho was the daughter of Manuel Camacho and Teresa González. Maria was six months old when her mother died.  Her first studies are recorded as a religious college in Puebla. In 1918, she returned to Mexico City, continuing her studies first with Mother Dominic and then went to the Catholic Institute for girls for 3 years. In 1921, the family moved to Camacho Coyocan.

Catechist and member of Catholic Action

Maria lived in Coyoacan for thirteen, during which time she focused herself on helping to cultivate the spiritual life of children and helping with the apostolate. Under the guidance of experienced catechists, she began teaching catechism, founding a catechetical center in her home.

She served as secretary and treasurer of the Committee of the Parish of Saint John the Baptish Parish which served 2,300 children. On February 2, 1930, she took the habit in the Venerable Third Franciscan Order in 1931 and enrolled in Catholic Action, where she held important posts.

Her Martyrdom

On Sunday, December 30, 1934, it was revealed that the "Red Shirts," organized by young Tomas Garrido Canabal and led by Carlos Madrazo against the Catholic faith, were to hold a rally in front of the town council.  Maria donned her best dress and went to church hoping to help others stay away from what might happen.  The rally turned into a mob which came to the Church.  Children and the elderly who were in the Church were directed exit slowly. Shooting began. Cirenia was injured in the chest, reaching Friar Alejandro Torres shortly before she died, a few minutes later.

Her funeral was held along with a mass march toward the Zocalo of Mexico City to to demand the government punishment for the guilty. The President, Lazaro Cardenas promised there would be no more persecution, but for a long time was unable to talk openly about the subject.

Maria's remains lie in the Parish of St. John the Baptist of Coyoacan.

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar%C3%ADa_de_la_Luz_Cirenia_Camacho_Gonz%C3%A1lez

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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 00:58:17 (permalink)
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St. Anysia
Feastday: December 30
304

Martyr of Greece. She was a wealthy woman of Salonika, in Thessaly, who used her personal funds to aid the poor. A soldier accosted her in the street and tried to drag her to a pagan sacrifice. Anysia resisted and was killed when the soldier attacked her with his sword.


Saint Anysia

Anysia was born in Thessalonica. Her family was rich, but very pious. After her parents' death, Anysia took private vows of poverty and chastity and used her wealth to help the poor. One day, around the year 304, on hew way to worship, a Roman soldier accosted her, and when she confessed Christ, he began dragging her off to the temple of the Sun god. When he ripped her veil from her face, she spit in his face, and he drove his sword through her. A church was built in her honour over her grave.
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 00:58:39 (permalink)
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 00:59:06 (permalink)
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Dear friends,

As we remember the woman martyrs such as Maria de la Luz Camacho Gonzalez and Anysia from Thessalonika,  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 2008/12/31 01:21:34 (permalink)
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Blessed Matthia dei Nazzarei, Abbess
Feastday: December 30

Born in Metalica, March of Ancona, Italy; died 1213; cultus confirmed in 1756. Matthia received the Benedictine veil at the convent of Santa Maddalena at Metalica, of which she became abbess- -a position that she held for 40 years. At a later date the convent adopted the rule of the Poor Clares, and for this reason Blessed Matthia is often called a Poor Clare. She was very strong- willed and, by various accounts, is said to continue to manifest herself in her shrines (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 01:22:49 (permalink)
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Donata and Companions
Feastday: December 31

Date unknown. Donata, Paulina, Rustica, Nominanda, Serotina, Hilaria, and companions were a band of Roman women martyred in one of the early persecutions. Their relics are enshrined in the catacombs of Via Salaria (Benedictines).
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 19:41:08 (permalink)
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Deacon St. Melania
Feastday:December 31
439


St. Melania of Rome

St. Melania whose feast day is December 31 was born to wealthy Christians, Publicola, a Roman senator, and Albina. At fourteen, she was married. She had two children who died at an early age. Her husband agreed to lead a life of continency and religious dedication.

Inheriting her father's vast wealth, Melania endowed monasteries in Egypt, Syria, and Palestine and aided churches and monasteries in Europe. To escape the barbarian invasions, she fled with her mother and husband to Tagaste in Numidia in the year 410.

In 417, all three made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and settled at Jerusalem, where Melania became a friend of St. Jerome. After the death of her mother in 431 and her husband in 432, Melania attracted many women to her way of life, some of whom, like herself, became deacons.

She founded a convent, for which she served as Abbess until her death on December 31, 439.

Her feast day is December 31.
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 19:45:15 (permalink)
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From a book review of Encountering Women of Faith, The St. Catherine’s Vision Collection, Volume I , Edited by Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald, 137 pp. InterOrthodox Press $14.95
 
Excerpt from Book Review by Marilyn Rouvelas:

Author Kryiaki Kariodoyanes Fitzgerald, a therapist, focused on the “unspeakable pain and loss” that St. Melania the Younger (383-439) experienced early in her life after the death of her only two children. (The saint was the granddaughter of the well-known St. Melania the Elder.) Although inspired by her grandmother to devote totally herself to the Church, she married and had two children. After losing both their son and daughter, St. Melania turned to intense prayer, study, and fasting. From the author’s personal and professional experience, she expresses intense empathy for St. Melania: “Great losses challenge every aspect of our relationship with reality: God, others, ourselves and creation. . . This is where the unimaginable hole in [St. Melania’s] heart, the hole that seemed to have even replaced her heart, even her very self at times was presented to God as a kind of living sacrifice. This is where her work truly began...” 
 
St. Melania and her husband, St. Pinianus, then became celibate, devoting their lives to the Church. The author poignantly imparts the universality of pain a mother feels at the loss of a child, and suggests turning to the reality of abiding in God’s love, like St. Melania, to bring healing and spiritual growth.

...

The other essays about St. Susanna of Palestine, the Righteous Susanna of the Book of Daniel, the New Martyr Elizabeth Feodorovna, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Catherine, the Myrrh-Bearing Women and a second chapter on St. Melania also help us encounter the saints and our faith in wonderful ways.

But the book also gives a broad perspective on the ways women have served in the Orthodox Church in the past and today. By making these women saints, the Church recognized their extraordinary witness and contributions: philanthropy, education, ministering to the needy, founding monasteries, etc. The Church recognized the service of three of these eight women by ordaining them to the diaconate during their lifetimes: St. Olympias, St. Susanna of Palestine, and St. Melania the Younger.
 
As explained in Zahirsky’s chapter on Deaconess Olympias, deaconesses have served in the Orthodox church for centuries. In fact ordination prayers and the rite itself still exist and have not been expunged by the Orthodox Church. (For more information read: Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church by Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald. The book includes an appendix that provides the Greek ordination rite for the femaledeacon and the recommendations of church consultations at the highest levels starting in 1988 that have advocated the restoration of the order of women deacons.)
 
The female diaconate is now being reinstituted in Greece in a limited way.
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 19:48:47 (permalink)
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Saint Melania the Younger, Woman Deacon
 
(a western church version)
 
Melania the Younger
Feastday: December 31

Born in Rome, Italy, c. 383; died in Jerusalem, December 31, 438 (or 439). Melania was the product of several pious generations of the patrician Roman family of the Valerii. Her grandmother, Saint Antonia Melania the Elder, widow of Valerius Maximus, was one of the first Roman matrons to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. When Melania the Elder moved to Egypt in 372 and then to Palestine to become a nun, she left behind her in Rome her six-year-old son Valerius Publicola, who fathered today's saint and was a Roman senator.

Antonia Melania the Younger began her life in the splendor of the Valerian palace. She inherited a fantastic fortune--estates in what are now eight modern countries. She controlled whole populations. Yet Melania chose asceticism, which, according to Saint Jerome was inherited from her mother. Her life made contact with several other saints, Saint Paulinus of Nola, Augustine of Hippo, and Jerome--all of whom had a very high opinion of her and her husband.

At age 13, Melania married her 17-year-old cousin Saint Valerius Pinianus against her will. She suggested that they live together in celibacy, in exchange for which he could have her entire fortune. He insisted that they have two sons first. They had a daughter they vowed to virginity, then a son. Both of whom died soon after birth. Melania seemed to be dying, too, and made her recovery contingent upon a life of abstinence. Pinianus agreed and she recovered.

Their religious devotion and austere lifestyle provoked opposition from other family members. But after her father's death, her widowed mother, Albina, the Christian daughter of a pagan priest, was also won over. The couple then lived in simplicity as far as was possible. They struggled to give away all their property--her annual income was the equivalent of about US$20 million today. When they tried to sell their property for the good of the poor and the Church, their family appealed to Emperor Honorius, who sided with Melania. She became one of the greatest religious philanthropists of all time: She endowed monasteries in Egypt, Syria, and Palestine; helped churches and monasteries in Europe; aided the poor, sick, captives, and pilgrims.

Not only did they provide charity out of their surplus, Melania and Pinianus gave of themselves. They freed their 8,000 slaves in two years, but the slaves refused to be freed, so they transferred themselves to Pinianus's brother. By the time Melania was 20, Pinianus, Albina, and Melania left Rome and turned their country estate into a religious center. Their palace became a home for innumerable sick, prisoners, and exiles whom the couple personally sought out.

When the Visigoths invaded Rome in 408, Pinianus and Melania moved to Messina, Sicily. In 410, Rome was taken and their palace burned. Finding Sicily in danger, they decided to cross the Mediterranean to Carthage with the aged priest Rufinus. They were shipwrecked on the island of Lipari, which Melania ransomed from pirates. Finally, they moved to their estate in Tagaste, Numidia, in northern Africa. The saintliness of the couple quickly became apparent to the denizens. The citizens of nearby Hippo demanded that Saint Augustine ordain Pinianus at once. Augustine compromised by saying that he should stay in Hippo for a time as a layman. The couple also established a monastery and a convent, where she lived in great austerity.

By 417, most of their estates were sold and the couple was truly poor. Melania, Pinianus, and Albina made a pilgrimage to Palestine, then visited the desert monks in Egypt, and finally settled in Jerusalem, where Melania's grandmother Antonia Melania had been living as a nun. Melania's cousin, Saint Paula, introduced her to the group of Roman women in Bethlehem presided over by Saint Jerome, whose friend she became.

After her mother Albina's death in 431, Melania established herself as a recluse. She founded a monastery and sent her husband to seek out those with vocations. He succeeded, then died in 432, and was buried on Mount Olivet near her mother. Melania lived in a room near his tomb for four years until she attracted numerous disciples. Then she founded and directed a convent to care for the Church of the Ascension and sing the Divine Office continually for her mother and husband. She shared in their life of prayer and good works, and occupied herself with copying books.

Her uncle Volusianus wrote to her insinuating that she should consider marriage to Emperor Valentinian III. She went to Constantinople, ingratiated herself with the imperial family, then undertook a brisk campaign against the Nestorian heresy, and fell ill. She converted her uncle and assisted him to a holy death on January 6, 437.

Melania went to Bethlehem for her last Christmas and spent it with Saint Paula. She returned to her convent for the feast of Saint Stephen and died five days later, with Saint Paula, the monks, nuns, and the bishop present. As she was dying Paula began crying and Melania consoled her.

Melania's biography was written by her chaplain, Gerontius. Although Melania has been venerated in the Eastern Church for centuries, she has had no cultus in the West. Pope Pius X, however, approved the observance of her feast in 1908 for the Somaschi, an observance followed by the Latin Catholics of Constantinople and Jerusalem (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Martindale).

In art, Melania is generally shown praying in a cave, a skull and vegetables near her (Roeder).

http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/1231.shtml
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 19:54:14 (permalink)
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from Orthodoxwiki.org...

Our venerable Mother Melania the Younger (or Melane the Roman - feastday: December 31) lived during the reign of king Honorios, son of Theodosios the Great, in 400. She came from a rich and glorious family.

Her grandmother is also commemorated as a saint: Melania the Righteous (June 8). Because she loved the Lord with her whole heart, she chose to remain a virgin. But her parents forced her to get married even unwillingly with a man and she became the mother of two children. Then her parents and children died. That is why this blessed woman left the city of Rome and was living at her farm with every ascetic practice and virtue. She used to take care of the sick, received the foreigners who came to her, and visited the imprisoned and the exiled. Then she sold all her estates and possessions, which were many, and collected 120,000 gold coins, which she distributed to churches and monasteries.


St. Melania of Rome

In the beginning she used to eat once every couple of days but later on she used to fast five days per week and she would only eat on Saturdays and Sundays. So, this saint of blessed memory got used to and was trained in every ascetic practice with a lot of knowledge and discretion. She also used to write with a calligraphic hand in a very nice and artistic way.

Then she went to Africa and, after she had spent seven years there distributing most of her wealth, she went to Alexandria and from there to Jerusalem. There she closed herself in a cell and with her example she attracted ninety virgins and nuns to this same zeal for asceticism. She used to provide for their daily needs unceasingly. Because she was overcome by the pain of the side, she got very sick and, after she had called the bishop of Eleutheroupolis, she received from him the Eucharist. Then she bid all the sisters farewell, and lastly uttered these words of Job: "As the Lord wishes, so let it be." And in this way she immediately commended her soul to the hands of God.

Hymns
 
Troparion - (Tone 4)

In your fervent desire for the angelic life,
You renounced the comforts of this earth.
In watchfulness you practiced sobriety and deep humility.
Therefore, most wise Melania, you became a pure vessel
Filled by the Holy Spirit, who adorned you with gifts,
Attracting all to your divine fervor,
Leading them to the Master and Savior of our souls.
Troparion (Tone 4)

You tread to the end of the path of virtue and were betrothed to God the Word.
You rejoiced in the contest, O Anysia;
And you, O Melania, shone with the light of dispassion,
Together, radiant with virtue in the world.
And now we ask you to implore Christ the Lord that he may be gracious to us!
Kontakion (Tone 4)

Your soul radiated light from the One born for us of the Virgin,
And you shone with virtues, O saint worthy of all praise.
By giving away your possessions on earth
You stored up treasures in Heaven,
Showing a wonderful example of the ascetic life.
Therefore, O holy Melania, we honor you with love.
Kontakion (Tone 3)

Like a lamp with two flames you illumine Christ’s Church
With mystical radiance.
In your martyr’s contest you brought forth fruits a hundred-fold, O Anysia;
And you, O Melania, were resplendent in asceticism.
You were found worthy of the incorruptible life of the blessed!

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Melania_the_Younger
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 20:15:58 (permalink)
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St. Donata and Companions
Feastday: December 31
unknown

Roman martyrs, Donata, Hilaria, Nomiflanda, Paulina, Rustica, and Serotina. Their relics are enshrined in the Via Salaria Catacombs, in Rome.
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RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008 2008/12/31 20:21:33 (permalink)
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Saint Columba of Sens
feastday December 31

Born in Spain; died in Meaux, France in 273. While the date and circumstances of Columba's martyrdom are undocumented except in a spurious passio, her legend says that she fled her homeland in order to avoid being denounced as a Christian. She and other Spanish believers migrated to France and all were martyred at Meaux under Aurelian. Formerly she was venerated throughout France; the historical monuments of Sens still testify to this devotion (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopedia). In art, Saint Columba is portrayed as a crowned maiden in chains. At times she may (1) have a dog or bear on a chain, (2) hold a book and a peacock's feather, (3) be with an angel on a funeral pyre, or (4) be beheaded (Roeder).
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