A saint’s writings finally in print
At New Liturgical Movement, Peter Kwasniewski drew attention to a major new publishing project. Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) is, Kwasniewski wrote, one of the Church’s “most fascinating and complex mystics”. Beatified by John Paul II, Blessed Anne had an extraordinary range of visions. Her visions of Early Church worship, for instance, included details which were confirmed by later scholarship.
“Unfortunately,” Kwasniewski said, “Anne Catherine has been ill-served in English. Until quite recently, the available translations represented but a tiny sliver of her marvellous range of visions, edited with pious intentions and rendered in a stiff style.”
But now Angelico Press – which published three volumes of her visions in 2015 – is bringing out 11 volumes of Blessed Anne’s writings, including her “Life of the Virgin Mary” and “Mysteries of the Old Testament”.
This latter part “commences with an account of Joseph and his wife Asenath in Egypt” and “fresh perspectives are offered on Moses, Samson and Delilah, the Nazirites, Elijah and Elisha, Tobias, Ezra, Zoroaster, the Holy Book of Ctesiphon, and the final prophet, Malachi.
“The second part is thrilling, passing through several stages of the Ark of the Covenant, which reaches its consummation, in its fourth and final form, in the Virgin Mary herself.”
Kwasniewski said he had been “edified, dazzled, perplexed, nourished, and moved by what I have read in these new volumes”.
Sheen on the four ages of the Church
At the National Catholic Register, Joseph Pronechen recalled an Archbishop Fulton Sheen TV talk from 1974.
Sheen suggested that we are in the fourth 500-year period of Catholic history. “The Church is not a continuing thing — it dies and rises again. It proceeds on the principle of Christ himself as priest and victim.“And there comes the defeat, the seeming decay, we are put in the grave, and then we rise again. We have had four deaths in our Christian history.”
The Fall of Rome in around 500 AD; the spread of Islam and the Great Schism around 1000; the Reformation – all were instances of the Church decaying.
“And now,” said Sheen, “we’re at the fourth period, and we’re rotting – we’re spoiled – no great zeal, no great learning, no great fire.” And yet, he said with confidence, “Anyone who knows history is not particularly disturbed.”
The happiest day of a small boy’s life
At Catholic Stand, David Torkington recalled “the happiest day of his life”: when he was told as a child “that God would grant any prayer, any request that you made of him if it was made while the sacred host was actually in your mouth”. That was followed by the greatest disappointment when his prayers weren’t answered. “I nearly lost my faith”.
“We start our prayer journey by trying to use God, trying to exploit him,” he wrote. But in the end, only God knows what we really need.
✣ Lollipops decorated with the face of Pope Francis have become an unlikely bestseller in the run-up to the papal visit to Ireland. The merchandise, known as “LolliPopes”, is sold by Dealz, a subsidiary of Poundland. According to the Irish Times, the lollipops appeared to have sold out just a month after they were launched. Other memorabilia include Holy See flags and bunting, umbrellas, pens and fridge magnets.
✣ Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform for Pope Francis when he visits Dublin later this month. Over 70,000 people will attend the Festival of Families concert at Croke Park on August 25. Bocelli said singing before the Pope was a “privilege for our soul” and an “honour for what the Supreme Pontiff represents in the world”.
✣ Medieval attempts to paint lions have cheered up Twitter users. “If you’re having a bad day, please appreciate these artists’ attempts to draw lions with St Mark,” wrote @comcatholicgrl, attaching four medieval paintings to her tweet. The post was liked 3,200 times and Twitterites compared the ill-drawn lions to llamas and gorillas. “They all have no idea what a lion actually looks like,” wrote one Twitter user. Only one of the offending pictures was attributed to an artist online: the 17th-century Greek painter, Emmanuel Tzanes.
✣The week in quotations
From heaven may he intercede for the Church he loved so much Pope Francis on Blessed Paul VI Angelus
We believe a group similar to Daesh will evolve in future Syriac Orthodox Archbishop al-Shamani calls for peacekeepers in the Nineveh Plain Interview with ACN
You can’t hold off heavily armed men with fireworks Nicaraguan Fr Victor Morales on youngsters killed by paramilitary forces CNS
Throw it out of the window Pope Francis on what to do with your idol General audience address
✣Statistic of the week
100,000 Number of Vietnamese Catholics at a Marian festival in Carthage, Missouri, last weekend Source: Carthage police