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Theodosius the Great (Cenobiarch) Sfantul Teodosie cel Mare)


Theodosius the Great (Cenobiarch)

Theodosius the Great (Cenobiarch) – 11th century mosaic in the Nea Moni Monastery (Greece)

The Venerable Saint Theodosius the Great, also Theodosius the Cenobiarch lived during the fifth-sixth centuries (423 AD – 529 AD), and was the founder and organizer of the cenobitic way of monastic life.[note 1] The monastery that he founded in 476 AD became known as the “Monastery of St. Theodosius“, and includes his tomb.[note 2] His feast day is on January 11.

Life

Saint Theodosius was born in the province of Cappadocia in the village of Mogarissus. His parents Proheresius and Eulogia were very devout.

Endowed with a splendid voice, he zealously toiled at church reading and singing. St Theodosius prayed fervently that the Lord would guide him on the way to salvation. In his early years he visited the Holy Land and met with St Symeon the Stylite (September 1), who blessed him and predicted future pastoral service for him.

Yearning for the solitary life, Saint Theodosius settled in Palestine into a desolate cave, in which, according to Tradition, the three Magi had spent the night, having come to worship the Savior after His Nativity. He lived there for thirty years in great abstinence and unceasing prayer. People flocked to the ascetic, wishing to live under his guidance.

When the cave could no longer hold all the monks, St Theodosius prayed that the Lord Himself would indicate a place for the monks to live. Taking a censer with cold charcoal and incense, the monk started walking into the desert. At a certain spot the charcoal ignited by itself and the incense smoke began to rise. Here the monk established the first cenobitic monastery, or Lavra (meaning “broad” or “populous”).

It was around this time that Theodosius’ friend and countryman Sabbas the Sanctified was appointed Archimandrite of all the isolated monks in Palestine, by Patriarch Sallustius of Jerusalem (486-493). Therefore Theodosius was made the leader of all those monks who lived in community, and this was the origin of his being called “the Cenobiarch”, which translates as chief of those living a life in common.

Monastery of St. Theodosius

Soon the Lavra of St Theodosius became renowned, and up to 700 monks gathered at it. According to the final testament of St Theodosius, the Lavra rendered service to neighbor, gave aid to the poor and provided shelter for wanderers. There was a communal table for all, communal property, communal penance, communal labor, communal patience and, not too rare, communal hunger. Theodosius was an exalted model of life to all the monks; an example in labor, prayer, fasting, watchfulness and in all Christian virtues.

St Theodosius was extremely compassionate. Once, when there was a famine in Palestine and a multitude of people gathered at the monastery, he gave orders to allow everyone into the monastery enclosure. His disciples were annoyed, knowing that the monastery did not have the means to feed all those who had come. But when they went into the bakery, they saw that through the prayers of the abba, it was filled with bread. This miracle was repeated every time St Theodosius wanted to help the destitute.

At the monastery, St Theodosius built a home for taking in strangers, separate infirmaries for monks and laymen, and also a shelter for the dying.

Seeing that people from various lands gathered at the Lavra, the saint arranged for services and hymns to be offered to God in the various languages: Greek, Georgian and Armenian. However when all were gathered to receive the Holy Mysteries in the large church, the divine services were chanted in Greek.

Opponent of Monophysitism

During the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius (491-518) there arose the heresy of Eutychius and Severus, which recognized neither the sacraments nor the clergy. The emperor accepted the false teaching, and the Orthodox began to suffer persecution. St Theodosius stood firmly in defense of Orthodoxy and wrote a letter to the emperor on behalf of the monks, in which they denounced him and refuted the heresy with the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils. He affirmed moreover, that the desert-dwellers and monks would firmly support the Orthodox teaching. The emperor showed restraint for a short while, but then he renewed his persecution of the Orthodox. The holy Elder then showed great zeal for the truth. Leaving the monastery, he came to Jerusalem and in the church, he stood at the high place and cried out for all to hear: “Whoever does not honor the four Ecumenical Councils, let him be anathema!” For this bold deed the monk was sent to prison, but soon returned after the death of the emperor.

Miracles

St Theodosius accomplished many healings and other miracles during his life. God granted him the gift of working miracles by which he was able to heal the sick, to appear from a distance, to tame wild beasts, to discern the future and to cause bread and wheat to multiply. Prayer was on his lips day and night.

Through his prayers he once destroyed the locusts devastating the fields in Palestine. Also by his intercession, soldiers were saved from death, and he also saved those perishing in shipwrecks and those lost in the desert.

Once, the saint gave orders to strike the semandron (a piece of wood hit with a mallet), so that the brethren would gather at prayer. He told them, “The wrath of God draws near the East.” After several days it became known that a strong earthquake had destroyed the city of Antioch at the very hour when the saint had summoned the brethren to prayer.

Death

Before his death, St Theodosius summoned to him three beloved bishops and revealed to them that he would soon depart to the Lord. After three days, he died peacefully at the age of 105, in 529 AD. The saint’s body was buried with reverence in his first cell, the cave in which he lived at the beginning of his ascetic deeds.

Hymns

Troparion – Tone 8
By a flood of tears you made the desert fertile,
and your longing for God brought forth fruits in abundance.
By the radiance of miracles you illumined the whole universe!
Our Father Theodosius, pray to Christ God to save our souls!

Kontakion – Tone 8
Planted in the courts of your Lord, you blossomed beautifully with virtue,
and increased your children in the desert, showering them with streams of
your tears, O chief shepherd of the divine flock of God.
Therefore, we cry to you: “Rejoice, Father Theodosius.”

Gallery

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Teodosie cel Mare (Cenobiarch) 11 mozaicul din secolul în Mănăstirea Moni Nea (Grecia)
Venerabilul Sfântul Teodosie cel Mare, aussi Teodosie Cenobiarch a trăit în timpul cincea – sasea secolele (423 AD 529 d.Hr.). Și fondator și organizator a fost a modului de obște monahală de viață [nota 1] Manastirea a fondat de asta în 476 AD exista devenu Cunoscut sub numele de Mănăstirea Sf. Teodosie,” și include mormântul lui. [nota 2] Prăznuirea sa se la 11 ianuarie.

Saint Teodosie sa născut în provincia Cappadocia în orașul Mogarissus. Rudele lui Proheresius și Eulogia au fost foarte devotat.

Dotat cu o voce splendidă, a trudit cu zel la lectură biserică și cântând. St Teodosie sa rugat cu fervoare que la Domnul l-ar Ghid pe drumul spre mântuire. În primii ani a vizitat Țara Sfântă și aduce cu Sf Simeon Stâlpnicul (1 septembrie), care îl și viitorul Serviciu previzibilă pastorală Pentru el binecuvântat.

Dorinta pentru viața solitară, Sf. Teodosieau stabilit în Palestina într-o peșteră pustie, în qui, selon la tradiție, trei magi a petrecut noaptea, după ce a ajuns să se închine Mântuitorului După Nașterea Domnului Său. El a trăit timp de treizeci de ani în mare abstinență și rugăciune neîncetată. Oamenii s-au înghesuit la ascet, dorința de a trăi sub îndrumarea Lui.

Când pestera de-a lungul nr putut ține toți călugării, Sf Teodosie sa rugat que la Domnul Însuși ar indica indicație are loc pentru călugări să trăiască. Având o cădelniță cu cărbune rece și tămâie, călugărul a început de mers pe jos în deșert. La un loc sigur cărbune aprins de la sine și fumul de tămâie a început să crească. Aici călugărul Infiintata prima obște aur mănăstire Lavra (însemnând larg” sau populat”).

Acesta a fost momentul în care Teodosie jurul acestui prieten și Countryman Sava cel Sfintit a fost numit Arhimandritul a tuturor călugărilor izolate din Palestina, prin Sallustius Patriarhul Ierusalimului (486-493). Prin urmare, Teodosie a fost făcută liderul tuturor celor care au trăit în comunitate călugări, iar aceasta a fost de origine de fiul fiind alb numit expirat “Cenobiarch” qui se traduce ca șef celor care trăiesc o viață în comun.
Manastirea Sf. Teodosie de

Curând Lavra Sfântului Teodosie est devenu renumit, și până la 700 de călugări au adunat la el. Selon testamentul final al Sf Teodosie, Lavra prestate serviciile la vecin, dat ajutor la adăpost săraci și Asigurarea pentru Wanderers. Nu a fost o masă comună pentru toți, proprietate comunală, penitență comunale, Muncii comunale, răbdare comunale, și, foame comunale nu prea rare. Teodosie a fost un model de înaltă a vieții pentru toți călugării; un exemplu în Muncii, rugăciune, post, veghere și în toate virtuțile creștine.

St Teodosie a fost extrem de plin de compasiune. Odată, când a existat o foamete în Palestina și o mulțime de oameni adunați la mănăstire, a dat ordin să permită tuturor în incintă mănăstirii. Ucenicii lui au fost contrariat, Știind que la mănăstire Despre nuavea mijloace gruparea să se hrănească pe toți cei care au venit. Scopul Când au intrat în brutăria, au vazut ca prin rugăciunile Abba, acesta a fost umplut cu pâine. A fost aceasta minune a repetat de fiecare dată Sf Teodosie a vrut să ajute nevoiași.

La mănăstire, Sf Teodosie construit o casă pentru a lua în străini, infirmerii separate, pentru călugări și laici, precum și aussi un adăpost pentru moarte.

Văzând că oamenii din diferite țări au adunat la Lavra, sfântul amenajat pentru servicii și imnuri a fi oferite lui Dumnezeu în diferite limbi: Greacă, georgiene și armene. Oricum, când toate s-au adunat recevoir Sfintele Taine în biserică mai larg, serviciile divine Au fost cântată în greacă.
Adversar de monofizitismului

În timpul domniei împăratului bizantin Anastasie (491-518) Acolo propuneri erezia lui Eutihie și Sever, qui reconnu Nici clerul, nici sacramentele. Împăratul a acceptat învățătura falsă, iar ortodocșii au început să sufere Prigoana. St Teodosie a stat sudate ferm în apărarea Ortodoxiei și a scris o scrisoare către împărat la facilitatea de numele călugărilor, în qui El și a respins-au denunțat erezia cu învățăturile Sinoadelor Ecumenice. El a afirmat în plus, que Le desertlocuitori și călugări Vreti sudate de sprijin ferm învățătura ortodoxă. Împăratul arătat reținere pentru o scurtă perioadă de timp, poartă Apoi, el reînnoită persecuție Lui a ortodocșilor. Sfântul Bătrân Atunci dat dovadă de multă râvnă pentru adevăr. Lăsând mănăstire, el cam la Ierusalim și în biserică, el sa ridicat la ridicat și a strigat pentru toți să audă: ! Cine nu cinstește pe Sinoadele Ecumenice cuptor, să fie anatemaPentru aceasta fapta îndrăzneț călugăr leur Envoi la închisoare, pentru a întors imediat partener după moartea împăratului.
Minunile

St Teodosie Realizat Multe vindecări și miracole –Alte pandantiv viața Lui. Desigur L pe Dumnezeu darul de minuni prin qui a fost ble pentru a vindeca pe bolnavi, să apară de la o distanță, pentru a îmblânzi fiarele sălbatice, pentru a discerne viitor și în pâine și grâu pentru a se multiplica. Rugăciunea a fost în ziua Lui buzele și noapte.

Prin rugăciunile sale, el a distrus odată lăcustele devastatoare câmpurile din Palestina. De asemenea, prin mijlocirea lui au fost soldați salvat de la moarte, iar el a salvat aussi Cei care pier în epave și cele pierdute în deșert.

Odată, sfântul a dat ordin să lovească semandron (o bucată de lemn lovit cu un ciocan), astfel încât que la frații se adunau la rugăciune. El le-a spus, Mânia lui Dumnezeu se apropie Est.” După câteva zile, exista devenu cunoscut faptul că un cutremur puternic a distrus orașul HAD Antiohia chiar ora la care Sfânt ia chemat frații la rugăciune.
moarte

Înainte de moartea sa, Sf Teodosie chemat la el trei episcopi iubiți și le-a descoperit că va abate de curând la Domnul. După trei zile, a murit liniștită la vârsta de 105, în 529 AD. Corpul sfântului îngropat cu respect a fost în prima sa celulă, peștera în Qui a trăit la începutul de fiul fapte ascetice.
Imnurile

Tropar Tone 8
Printr-o potop de lacrimi aveti si voi deșert fertil,
și dorul pentru Dumnezeu brought roade din abundență.
Prin strălucirea miracolelor ai luminat întregul univers!
Tatăl nostru Teodosie, roagă-te lui Hristos Dumnezeu mântuiască sufletele noastre!

Condac Tone 8
Plantate în instanțele Domnului vostru, înflorit frumos cu virtute,
Creșterea și copiii voștri în deșert, dușurile cu fluxuri de ele
lacrimile tale, O, șef păstor al turmei lui Dumnezeu divin.
De aceea, noi strigăm la tine: Bucură-te, Părinte Teodosie.”

 

Rattlesnake Hilltop (Turnbull Canyon) Puente Hills, California August 3, 2013


Rattlesnake Hilltop (Turnbull Canyon) Puente Hills, California August 3, 2013

.@eharris_it Francis is NOT pope he has violated God’s law & Christ’s teachings & seeks to corrupt the #Catholic faith— Pray For Life (@Pray_4_Life)


History of Art: Gemma Augustea: Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna – the story about this marvelous low-relief cameo


Gemma Augustea (detail) Kunsthistoriches Museum Vienna

Gemma Augustea (detail) Kunsthistoriches Museum Vienna (Click to enlarge)

The Gemma Augustea (Latin, Gem of Augustus) is a low-relief cameo engraved gem cut from a double-layered Arabian onyx stone. It is commonly agreed that the gem cutter who created the Gemma Augustea was either Dioscurides or one of his disciples, in the second or third decade of the 1st century AD.

Creation and characteristics

The Gemma Augustea is a low-relief cameo engraved gem cut from a double-layered Arabian onyx stone.[1] One layer is white, while the other is bluish-brown. The painstaking method by which the stone was cut allowed minute detail with sharp contrast between the images and background, also allowing for a great deal of shadow play. The size of the gem also made for easier manipulation and a grander scene. It stands 7½ inches tall with a width of 9 inches and an average thickness of ½ inch.

It is commonly agreed that the gem cutter who created Gemma Augustea was either Dioscurides or one of his disciples. Dioscurides was Caesar Augustus’ favorite gem cutter, and his work and copies of it are seen from all over the ancient Roman world. The gem is “set” as though in the period c. AD 10–20, although some scholars believe it to have been created decades later because of their interpretation of the scene.

If Dioscurides, or cutters following his example, made it, the gemma was probably made in the court of Caesar Augustus. At some time in antiquity it moved to Byzantium, perhaps after Constantine I had officially moved the capital of the empire there. Augustus, though fully accepting and encouraging cult worship of the emperor outside Rome and Italy, especially in more distant provinces with traditions of deified rulers, did not allow himself to be worshiped as a god inside Rome. If this gem was made during his lifetime (he died in AD 14), it would perhaps have been made as a gift to a respected family in a Roman province or client kingdom. Alternatively, if the gem was made after Augustus’ death, the identity of one or more of the portraits may be different from the usual identification. Another viewpoint is that the gem does portray Augustus as a god in his lifetime, but was cut specifically for a close friend or relative in the inner court circle. Similar issues arise with other Imperial cameos such as the Blacas Cameo in the British Museum.

The whereabouts of the gemma is undocumented, though it still remained relatively intact and was probably always above ground, until 1246 when it is recorded in the treasury of the Basilica of St. Sernin, Toulouse. In 1533, Francis I of France appropriated it and moved it to Paris, where it disappears from records around 1590. Not long thereafter it was sold for 12,000 ducats to Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor. During the 17th century, it was set in German gold. This setting shows that the gem must have been damaged, the upper left side being broken with at least one other figure missing, probably before Rudolph II bought it, but definitely before 1700. The gem is now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.[2]

Interpretations of the figures and scenes

 

Gemma Augustea, with reference numbers.

Upper tier

The throned figure, #1 in the numbered illustration, is usually taken to be Augustus, although in some interpretations, it could represent a later Roman ruler. Figure #3 is the most readily identifiable, having characteristics held by no other. The woman is Oikoumene – the personification of the inhabited world. This inhabited or civilized world is either that of the early Roman Empire, or more likely the Mediterranean world conquered by Alexander the Great.[3] She wears upon her head a mural crown and veil. She is crowning figure #1 with the corona civica of oak leaves – used to commend someone for saving the life of a Roman citizen. In this grand scale depiction, however, it is given to figure #1 because he saved a multitude of Roman citizens.

Figure #5 and #6 seem to be closely related. Figure #5 is Oceanus or Neptune whose significance is often seen as one balancing the scene across from #4 and #7, and also an important onlooker, as he represents the realm of water. Below him is a reclined personification of either Gaia or Italia Turrita. The scholars who see Gaia link her with the cornucopia and the children surrounding her, who may represent seasons. It might be odd that Gaia holds the horn of plenty when it seems as if the horn is not presently producing anything. This supports an argument that she is not Gaia, but Italia, for historically there was famine at the scene’s event. Also, she wears a bulla, a locket of some sort, around her neck, which, again, would seem odd for Gaia to wear. Either way, the children represent seasons, probably summer and fall, as one of them carries ears of corn.

Figure #10 is the eagle of Jupiter. The eagle could be showing that figure #1 is seated in the role of Jupiter. Seated next to figure #1 is Roma. The helmeted goddess holds a spear in her right arm while her left hand lightly touches the hilt of her sword, probably showing that Rome was always prepared for war. Besides showing her feet resting upon the armor of the conquered, Roma seems to look admiringly towards figure #1. Though there might be a dispute as to who #1 is, it is often said that the image of Roma strongly resembles Livia, Augustus’ long-lived wife. Not only was she his wife, but from a previous marriage, the mother of Tiberius. The reason for the cutting of this gem is also called into question when it is noted that Roma was not worshiped inside Rome till around the rule of Hadrian. Thus the gem might have been custom cut for a friend in the provinces.

Figure #4 is Victoria driving the chariot that holds the descending figure #7. She is obviously the deliverer of the victorious but not necessarily there for celebration, as it seems she might be impatiently urging figure #7 on to his next campaign. In associating Victoria with the chariot, it is necessary to analyze some historical importance relating to the chariot and the horses around it. The two foreshortened horses in front of the chariot are part of the chariot team, whereas the single horse to the side cannot be, and might belong to figure #8. Historically, a victory chariot was driven by four horses forming a quadriga, not the mere two represented on the gemma, a bigae. This might show that figure #7 is not a triumphator.

Lower tier: erection of tropaion

 

The lower register

 

Key to lower register

 

A fully erected tropaion with shackled and adorsed seated male and female Sarmatian captives (the right-hand female with head resting on hand, possibly a representation of the defeated “Sarmatia”) tied to base. Dupondius from reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, AD 161-180

The lower scene, in which the figures are less readily identifiable, depicts the erection of a tropaion. In some interpretations of the scene, all the lower figures are by design anonymous. Other interpretations attribute definite real or mythological persons to the figures. At left, the seated male and female figures (combined in #11) are either Celts or Germans, as is apparent from their clothing and hair styles, including the man’s beard, and represent prisoners of war, symbolizing the Roman victory. The man is bound with his hands behind his back, and both are apparently about to be tied to the base of the as yet half-erected tropaion (figure #19_, a trophy of war displayed upon winning a battle, usually fixed into the ground at the position of the “turning-point” of the battle in favour of the victors. The trophy consists of a wooden cross, designed to support human clothing. A helmet is placed on top, and the breastplate and weaponry of the enemy is placed upon it. In the scene, four young men are raising the trophy into a vertical position. Figure #18 is the least identifiable, but his helmet has led some to believe that he may be a Macedonian soldier of King Rhoemetalces[disambiguation needed], who helped Tiberius in Pannonia.
Figure #15 is often identified as a personification of the god Mars with his armor and flowing cape. Although figures #16 and #17 seem less important, they look very much alike and may represent the constellation Gemini. Gemini is the more difficult constellation to pick out, and it might represent the hidden identity of figure #8. Two others, however, are more obvious. Figure #20 is a shield with a large scorpion emblazoned upon it. Tiberius was born in November, and thus might be represented with such an item. Figure #9 shows Augustus’ favorite sign, the Capricorn. Although Augustus might have been conceived during December, he claimed the Capricorn as his constellation. The sun or moon, which were necessary to show the full power of a constellation, is seen behind the sign. Mars is represented by figure (#15), andthus at least three signs of the Zodiac are evident.

Figure #13 is probably Diana, identified with the moon, although some commentators believe her to be a mere auxiliary troop with #14. Diana holds spears in her left hand and her right hand seems to rest on the head of the man in figure #12, but not gripping his hair as supposed by many. Another identifying feature of Diana is her bountiful hair, bound up for the hunt, and her hunting clothes. Figure #14 might be an auxiliary, but more likely he personifies Mercurius (Mercury/Hermes), identified by his rimmed hat. Mercurius seems to be dragging the female in figure #12 by her hair towards the tropaion. The scene is clearly complex. Many interpretations insist that the ‘auxiliaries’ are dragging the barbarian prisoners to join their kindred in being bound to the trophy. However, there are indications that this might not be the case at all. First, the man on his knees is begging for mercy from Diana, who does look down on him. That same man wears around his neck a torque, suggesting him to be a Celt or German. It may be significant that Diana has her back turned to the observer and possibly the scene itself. She is the only one as such, and perhaps to contrast the celebration of victory in battle, she shows instead mercy to one pleading for his life. In addition, since the man is a leader, it makes for better propaganda that he should beg for mercy before a Roman goddess. Mercurius might not be dragging the woman to be bound to the trophy, but might be bringing her to kneel before Diana to beg for mercy as well. She shows the sign of a truce by placing her hand upon her chest. Perhaps Diana and Mercurius are sheltering them, perhaps offering them salvation in the final moments of victory. Whatever the case, the couple in #12 are not comparable to the despairing couple in #11, with whom they appear both to balance and contrast; balance by having barbarians on the right and left, literally balancing the composition, and contrast as one couple being doomed to be bound at the trophy, and the other begging for what looks like a chance of mercy.

Overall scene

 

A different view

The upper and lower scenes take place at different times, and are basically cause and effect. The lower scene takes place at the northern frontiers, just after a battle won by the Romans, who erect a victory trophy. Gathered prisoners of war are waiting for their punishment in grief or begging for mercy at the hands of assisting gods. The triumph on the battlefield precedes the triumph on the upper plate.

The upper scene is a fusion of Rome, Olympus, and the world of cities. Augustus is conspicuously above the birth sign he claimed, while the eagle personifying him as Jupiter sits below. He ended many years of internal strife for Rome and will forever wear the oak crown. In his right hand he holds a lituus – his augury stick in which he reads the signs and declares wars to be just. He faces Roma, representing all he united and saved from civil bloodshed. He sits equal to Roma, personifying a god. His feet lay upon armor, which could be identified with the newly conquered barbarians, or it may depict the descent of the Julian family from Mars through his human children Romulus and Remus. Unlike all the other figures, except for #7 and #8, the depiction of Augustus is considered to be an actual portrait because of the iris seen in his eye. Tiberius, Augustus’ adopted son, recently having fought in the north, comes back momentarily – for Victoria anxiously urges that he continue on to fight new battles and receive his triumph.

There are problems with this interpretation, however. The chariot is not one of victory. It would be unusual for a two-horse chariot to be used for the triumph. Also, Tiberius wears the toga. The toga represents civility and peace, not war. Perhaps this is a way to hand the victory to Augustus’ auguries. Tiberius steps down from the chariot, doing obeisance to Augustus, giving his adoptive parent the triumph and victory. If all this is true, then figure #8 could still be one of two persons, Drusus or Germanicus. By this age, Drusus was probably already dead, having fallen from his horse and suffered irreparable injuries. It could be, then, a representation of Drusus, and his memory, since he was fondly regarded by almost all. Since he is clad in fighting garb, the helmet probably beside him under the chariot, and coincidentally standing next to a horse, this could very well be Drusus. In addition, there are three constellations relating to the three portraits. Drusus would claim Gemini, though the Gemini is quite covert. If the portrait represented Drusus as alive, however, the gem would have been made about the same time as the Ara Pacis and the Altar of Augustus, sometime before 9 B.C., the year of Drusus’ death.

Others, though, think that Figure #8 is Germanicus, son of Drusus.[4] If the gem was commissioned no earlier than A.D. 12 and referred to Tiberius’ triumph over the Germans and the Pannonians, it would stand to reason that Germanicus, born in 13 B.C., was old enough to don gear and prepare for war, years after his father’s death. Germanicus was also looked upon quite fondly by Augustus and others. The dispute carries on.

Gemma Augustea is a beautiful work of art that seems to be based on dramatic Hellenistic compositions. The refined style of execution was more common in the late Augustan or earlier Tiberian age, though more likely Augustan. It is said that the image of Augustus as Jupiter is linked to future Roman triumphs by Horace in his Odes:

He’ll be brave who trusts himself to perfidious foes,
and he will crush the Carthaginians in a second war
who has tamely felt the chains upon his fettered
wrists and has stood in fear of death.
Such a one, not knowing how to live life secure,
has mixed peace with war.
O mighty Carthage, you rise
all the higher upon Italian ruins!
Tis said he set aside his wife’s chaste kisses and his
little children, as one bereft of civil rights,
and sternly bent his manly gaze upon the ground
till he should strengthen the Senate’s wavering purpose
by advice ne’er given before,
and amid sorrowing friends should hurry forth a glorious exile.
Full well he knew what the barbarian torturer was making
ready for him; and yet he pushed aside the kinsmen
who blocked his path and the people who would halt his going
with no less unconcern than if some case in court
had been decided, and he were leaving the tedious
business of his clients, speeding to Venafran fields,
or to Lacedaemonian Tarentum.

— Horace, Odes III 5

today’s holiday: Holy Innocents’ Day (2014)


Holy Innocents’ Day (2014)

Also known as Innocents’ Day or Childermas, this day commemorates the massacre of all the male children two years and younger in Bethlehem as ordered by King Herod, who hoped that the infant Jesus would be among them. Not surprisingly, this day has long been regarded as unlucky. In ancient times, the “Massacre of the Innocents” was reenacted by whipping the younger members of a family. But over the years, the tables turned, and in some countries it has become a day when children play pranks on their elders. In Mexico, Childermas is the equivalent of April Fools’ Day. More… Discuss

Adoration of the Magi. @BLMedieval Egerton 2125 f. 182v — Melibeus (@melibeus1): trei crai de la rasarit


Grupul psaltic Tronos-Trei crai de la rasarit.

Adoration of the Magi by Fra Angelico and Fili...

Adoration of the Magi by Fra Angelico and Filippo Lippi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Adoration of the Magi, tapestry, wool and ...

The Adoration of the Magi, tapestry, wool and silk on cotton warp, 101 1/8 x 151 1/4 inches (258 x 384 cm.), Manchester Metropolitan University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Adoration of the Magi (circa 1305) by Giot...

The Adoration of the Magi (circa 1305) by Giotto, purportedly depicting Halley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Adoration of the Magi

The Adoration of the Magi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mystery: What happened to the Lost Dauphin – Life Greatest Unsolved Mysteries


What happened to the Lost Dauphin - Life greatest Unsolved Misteries

What happened to the Lost Dauphin – Life greatest Unsolved Mysteries

Man in the Iron Mask National Geographic Channel

Tale of two Easters: Holy Land Catholics, Orthodox to celebrate as one


Tale of two Easters: Holy Land Catholics, Orthodox to celebrate as one


Christian pilgrims carry palm branches during the traditional Palm Sunday procession last year on the Mount of Olives overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. (CNS/Debbie Hill)

By Judith Sudilovsky
Catholic News Service

JERUSALEM (CNS) — Ghassan Rafidi, 53, remembers enjoying celebrating Easter twice as a child in his village of Jifna. 

“We had two times to celebrate and two vacations. My father’s family gave us gifts on the Greek Orthodox date, and my mother’s family on the Catholic,” said Rafidi, the son of a Catholic mother and a Greek Orthodox father. 

But today the Christian community has shrunk, and it is important that the celebrations be united, he said. Employers honor vacation on only one of the celebrations, putting pressure on families to decide which to celebrate, he said. 

“The Muslims always ask us how many Jesuses do we have,” he said. 

There are many families like Rafidi’s, both in Israel and the Palestinian territories, with members belonging to the Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Protestant churches.

For the past 15 years, Catholic parishes throughout the Palestinian territories and many in Israel have been celebrating Easter on the Greek Orthodox date. Now, following a directive from the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, within two years all Eastern Catholics and the Latin Patriarchate in the Holy Land will officially adopt the Greek Orthodox Julian calendar date.

The Latin Patriarchate calls the move a “decisive step toward ecumenism.” The official directive will take place after completion of the decree and approval by the Vatican.

“The main reason for the unification of the Easter celebration is for members of the same family, village and parish to be able to have one celebration, and one calendar, and to show the unity and enjoy the unity. We want to give a good example of unity to our non-Christian neighbors,” said the Latin Patriarchate chancellor, Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali.

The Latin-rite diocese of the Holy Land includes Israel, the Palestinian territories and Cyprus. Parishes in Jerusalem and the Bethlehem, West Bank, area will be exempt this year because of the Status Quo, the 1852 agreement that preserved the division of ownership and responsibilities of various Christian holy sites. The parish in Tel Aviv has also received an exemption for this year since there are many foreign workers who are members of the parish.

The Greek Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar and did not adopt the Gregorian calendar, which was implemented by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 to correct a miscalculation in the rotation of the earth. 

Next year, Easter falls on the same day according to both calendars, so the change by decree will only be adopted in 2015.

The spirit of the holiday is lost if it is celebrated on separate dates, said Father Raed Abusahlia of Holy Family Parish in Ramallah, West Bank. Easter in the Eastern church is all of Holy Week, starting with Palm Sunday, and includes special prayers during the week, he said.

“The liturgy is very beautiful if done together as a family. It can’t be spiritual if it is only part of the family,” he said. During the week following Easter there are traditional holiday family visits as well, he added.

Father Ilario Antoniazzi of St. Anthony Parish in Rameh, Israel, has been celebrating Easter with the Greek Orthodox for 15 years; he said the date is not important. 

“The most important thing is to be together on the feast, to give a good example of our love and to show that we are united in our love,” he said.

In the northern Israeli port city of Haifa, the change did not come easily for some parishioners, said Father Agapios Abu Saada of St. Elijah Melkite Catholic Cathedral, who has been pivotal in pushing for unifying the celebration.

“My experience in seeking solidarity … was not a smooth one,” he said. “The decision was not unified even within the same congregation.” 

He said those initially opposed to the idea were swayed by the joint religious processions during Holy Week.

“Unifying the feast is a vivid Christian testimony in a multicultural and multireligious society,” he said. “Christians in the Holy Land are a minority that keeps dividing itself to inner minorities within the minority, creating diverse subcommunities … which deteriorate the goal of Christians as one unrestricted community living in a multicultural and multireligious society.”

Father Abusahlia said some of his parishioners are “a little bit disturbed” because the Greek Orthodox Easter comes so late this year: May 5. 

“In the past years, we celebrated it together or with a difference of one week, so they didn’t feel it. Now it is very late, with a difference of 35 days. But we will celebrate together, it is good and important,” said he said.

The change also involves celebrating Lent and the period between Easter and Pentecost, said Bishop Shomali.

“Christmas is just Christmas and Epiphany, but when we unify the calendar (on Easter) we are unifying 90 days of the year. It is important,” he said.

He said he would be happy to see the unified celebration adopted universally by all Christians.

“The solution is to fix one Sunday in April as the date,” he said.

Bishop Shomali said although the Catholics did not ask the Greek Orthodox Church to celebrate Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar, he expects they will do so to unite Christians for that feast.

END

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Last Year’s Man: Leonard Cohen ( From the Album Songs of Love and Hate)


Last year’s Man (Leonard Cohen)

The rain falls down on last year’s man,
that’s a jew’s harp on the table,
that’s a crayon in his hand.
And the corners of the blueprint are ruined since they rolled
far past the stems of thumbtacks
that still throw shadows on the wood.
And the skylight is like skin for a drum I’ll never mend
and all the rain falls down amen
on the works of last year’s man.

I met a lady, she was playing with her soldiers in the dark
oh one by one she had to tell them
that her name was Joan of Arc.
I was in that army, yes I stayed a little while;
I want to thank you, Joan of Arc,
for treating me so well.

And though I wear a uniform I was not born to fight;
all these wounded boys you lie beside,
goodnight, my friends, goodnight.

I came upon a wedding that old families had contrived;
Bethlehem the bridegroom,
Babylon the bride.
Great Babylon was naked, oh she stood there trembling for me,
and Bethlehem inflamed us both
like the shy one at some orgy.
And when we fell together all our flesh was like a veil
that I had to draw aside to see
the serpent eat its tail.

Some women wait for Jesus, and some women wait for Cain
so I hang upon my altar
and I hoist my axe again.
And I take the one who finds me back to where it all began
when Jesus was the honeymoon
and Cain was just the man.
And we read from pleasant Bibles that are bound in blood and skin
that the wilderness is gathering
all its children back again.

The rain falls down on last year’s man,
an hour has gone by
and he has not moved his hand.
But everything will happen if he only gives the word;
the lovers will rise up
and the mountains touch the ground.
But the skylight is like skin for a drum I’ll never mend
and all the rain falls down amen
on the works of last year’s man.


Songs of Love and Hate is Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen‘s third album. It was mainly recorded in Columbia Studio A, Nashville, from September 22 to 26, 1970. “Sing Another Song, Boys” was recorded at the Isle of Wight Festival on August 30, 1970. Further recording took place at Trident Studios in London. The album reached #145 on the Billboard list, but was his most commercially successful album in many other parts of the world, reaching #4 in the UK and #8 in Australia.[3]

 

The album title is descriptive, outlining its main themes. The songs contain emotive language and are frankly personal; “Famous Blue Raincoat” ends with the line “Sincerely, L. Cohen”. The back cover of the album bears the lines:

 

They locked up a man
Who wanted to rule the world
The fools
They locked up the wrong man
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songs_of_Love_and_Hate)