Sword from the time of the Crusades found intact

On the Mediterranean coast of Haifa, near Mount Carmel, a sword more than a metre long was found encrusted with shells and marine organisms. Shlomi Katzin was practising recreational diving one hundred and fifty metres from the beach when he saw the artefact along with other objects, including metal anchors and fragments of pottery.

Because of its natural coves, this area served as a refuge for ancient ships, and the weapon is presumed to have belonged to a crusader who arrived in the Holy Land nine hundred years ago, as Nir Distelfeld, inspector of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Robbery Prevention Unit, states: “The sword, which has been preserved in perfect condition, is a beautiful and rare find and evidently belonged to a Crusader knight.” The object will be cleaned and examined in a specialized laboratory before being put on display.

Statue of St. Teresa of the Andes tours Santiago

During the month of October, a life-size image of St. Teresa of the Andes went on pilgrimage to parishes, chapels and schools in Santiago de Chile, and was joyfully received, especially by young people. Patricia Mora, director of archdiocesan activities, explained that the purpose of the pilgrimage is to highlight the profound love of God lived by this Carmelite.

Fr. Sebastián Martínez, rector of the Lycée Leonardo Murialdo, explained that the visit was an occasion to pray and to make a concrete resolution for holiness. “Young people have the desire to participate, to let themselves be questioned and challenged. The visit of the missionary Teresita inspired them with a proposal of Gospel values, values that make life worth living,” he affirmed.

Religious vandalism attacks in the United States reach one hundred

According to the Committee for Religious Liberty of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), since May 2020 – when the Committee began tracking incidents such as arson or other destruction – a hundred vandalism attacks against Catholic buildings and monuments have been recorded in the country. Last October, for example, unidentified persons wrote satanic slogans and messages of religious hatred on the walls of the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, Colorado, just before Sunday Mass.

“These incidents of vandalism have ranged from the tragic to the obscene, from the transparent to the inexplicable. There remains much we do not know about this phenomenon, but at a minimum, they underscore that our society is in sore need of God’s grace,” reads a communiqué issued by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Chair of the Committee for Religious Liberty, and Most Rev. Paul Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City and Chair of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

New Blesseds for the Church: 127 martyrs of Cordoba

In October, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, beatified 127 martyrs of the anti-Catholic persecution of 1936 in the Cathedral of Cordoba, Spain. The group of martyrs is made up of seventy-nine priests, five seminarians, three religious men, one nun and thirty-nine lay people, all of whom were killed out of hatred for the Faith by the populist front.

The postulator of the cause, Fr. Miguel Varona, explained the circumstances and the theological significance of their martyrdom. “We have 127 brothers in Heaven – thus the Church recognizes them, Blessed by martyrdom. They become our intercessors, companions on the journey and models for this time in the life of the Church,” the priest declared.

A million children pray the Rosary for a better world

In October, the Pontifical Foundation Aid to the Church in Need, ACN, reintroduced the One Million Children Praying the Rosary campaign, which seeks to unite children from five continents to petition God for the world. The initiative was supported by the Shrine and the World Apostolate of Fatima, and children from forty-four countries participated.

This year, the campaign focused on the figure of St. Joseph, since it has been 150 years since Pope Pius IX declared him Patron of the Universal Church. Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, President of ACN International, said that St. Joseph “is a great example for us of how God can turn all things to good through our prayer, our faithfulness and our obedience to his Word.”

Africa and Asia: a hope for the Church

On the occasion of World Mission Day, the Holy See published the Statistical Yearbook of the Church, with data for 2019. According to the figures presented, while Africa is the main continent benefiting from the Church’s growth, with eight million new Catholics, Europe has 292,000 fewer faithful.

Furthermore, a decrease in the number of bishops has been recorded, while the number of priests has increased. The increase came from Africa and Asia, which gave the Church 3,638 new priests.

The Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples explained that in recent years there has been an increase in the percentage of Baptisms and entries into the seminary or religious life in Asia, although the number of Catholics on the continent is still relatively small.

Christ the Redeemer Celebrates 90 Years

Christ the Redeemer

Brazil’s greatest religious icon, Christ the Redeemer, turned ninety years old on October 12. Erected atop Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, the statue stands over seven hundred metres above sea level and weighs 1,145 tonnes. It was chosen in 2007 as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World and in 2019 alone, 2.4 million people visited it.

On the symbolism of this magnificent monument for Brazil, Dr. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, who attended its inauguration on October 12, 1931, once commented:

“I cannot forget one night when I was in Rio de Janeiro, when the mist rising from the sea surrounded the statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado. Being only one fixed light on a silhouette, or on a hand that blesses, or a heart that palpitates with love, or a face that contemplates full of solicitude, at no moment did the mist succeed in extinguishing the figure of the Redeemer. This is the faith with which we walk towards the future, whatever the circumstances. It may be that very difficult trials may obscure from our eyes the prospects of victory; it may be that unforeseen circumstances bring problems that are not yet ours today. Beyond the mist, beyond all that can cloud the truth, on the Brazilian’s visual horizon there is something that nothing can erase: it is the image of Christ the Redeemer, faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ. And this faith will save us!”



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