Category: News

Watch Video – Pilate’s Palace ‘Holy Stairs’ Climbed By Christ During His Crucifixion Trial To Reopen This Year

Watch Video – Pilate’s Palace ‘Holy Stairs’ Climbed By Christ During His Crucifixion Trial To Reopen This Year

For many centuries, pilgrims visiting Rome have made a visit to the Pontifical Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs a must-do item on their bucket lists. There they ascend the hard marble stairs on their knees while praying and meditating on the Passion of Jesus.

The popular devotion is based on an ancient Christian tradition that tells us that St. Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, had the 28 steps which Jesus is said to have climbed on the day he was sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate transported to Rome in 362.

Pilgrims climb the steps, known as the “Scala Pilati” or “Scala Sancta” (Pilate’s Stairs or the Holy Stairs), on their knees as an act of penitence and then visit the Sancta Santorum, the first private papal chapel and the home of some of the Church’s most sacred relics.

Some 18,300 square feet of frescoes featuring stories from the Old and New Testament surround the stairs. Installed in 1589 by Pope Sixtus V to educate the mostly illiterate pilgrims visiting the stairs in their faith, the frescoes have grown dingy and in need of repair.

Since the faithful often did not read or write, the stories came to life” through images, Mary Angela Schroth, a Rome art gallery curator, told Catholic News Service.

Take a look at this video of the Holy Stairs before their restoration. The marble steps were encased in a protective wooden covering with occasional openings where the marble could be touched:

For the next year, they will be closed to the public while the staircase restoration project is completed.

Modern-day vistors to the Holy Stairs tend to ignore the frescoes all together focus more on prayer while ascending the stairs, says Paul Encinias, director of the Rome-based Eternal City Tours.

Twenty-first century Catholic pilgrims are far removed from artistic narratives,” he told CNS.

They are “not used to these visual cues” found in the frescoes, he added.

Perhaps the much-needed face-lift will redirect pilgrims’ interest to the beautiful paintings installed for them by a 15th-century pope.

Two Catholic Priests Arrested For Pro-Life Witness Inside Abortion Center

Two Catholic Priests Arrested For Pro-Life Witness Inside Abortion Center

Two Catholic priests and two pro-life activists were arrested for refusing to leave an abortion facility on Tuesday 24th July morning, where they distributed red roses and begged the mothers inside to choose life.

Father Fidelis Moscinski of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, Father Dave Nix of the Archdiocese of Denver, Will Goodman, and an unidentified woman entered Capital Women’s Services, the abortuary operated by Steven Chase Brigham at 6323 Georgia Ave NW, Suite 210 shortly after 9:00 a.m.

They were inside for roughly two hours, and then, because they refused to cooperate with the police on scene, were carried out one by one. Goodman and Fr. Nix eventually stood up to get inside police cars; Fr. Fidelis and the unnamed woman, who goes by “Baby Jane Doe” in solidarity with aborted children, were both limp as officers loaded them into police vehicles. “Baby Jane Doe,” who participated in a May 26 Red Rose Rescue at the same facility, will not give her name to the police. After her last arrest, the charges against her were dropped and she was released from police custody without ever revealing her name.

Police drag “Baby Jane Doe” out of Steven Brigham’s D.C. abortuary.Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews

The priests and activists were conducting what they call a “Red Rose Rescue,” inspired by Canadian pro-life activist Mary Wagner.

Tuesday’s rescue was scheduled to coincide with the sentence hearing of two other pro-life activists, Julia Haag and Joan McKee, for their December 2, 2017 rescue at Capital Women’s Services. They were sentenced to 18 months of unsupervised probation with the stipulation that they do not trespass at that abortuary again.

The “Rescue” movement began during the early days of the pro-life movement. It was normal for pro-life activists to enter abortion facilities to counsel women and even chain themselves to abortion equipment to prevent abortions from occurring. Many babies were saved this way.

Then, President Clinton signed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which makes it a federal crime to physically block women from obtaining abortions, forcing the pro-life movement to switch tactics.

So far, no one in any of the eight Red Rose Rescues in the U.S. has been charged with violating FACE, although some rescuers have spent time in jail. Pro-lifers have been arrested at all of those rescues but one.

It was Fr. Nix’s first Red Rose Rescue, but Goodman, Fr. Fidelis, and “Baby Jane Doe,” had all been arrested rescuing before. Goodman was arrested for his role in a Red Rose Rescue in Michigan on June 1, 2018; Fr. Fidelis has participated in a rescue at Capital Women’s Services and one in Alexandria, Virginia.

Father Dave Nix inside Capital Women’s ServicesClaire Chretien / LifeSiteNews

As their comrades risked arrest, disrupting the abortuary’s daily operations and witnessing to the women inside, roughly 15 pro-life activists stood outside the abortion center praying in pouring rain. Among that group were veteran Red Rose Rescuers Dr. Monica Migliorino Miller of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Father Stephen Imbarrato of Priests for Life, Lauren Handy of Mercy Missions and the Gloria Dei apostolate, and long-time pro-life activist Joan Andrews Bell.

Red Rose Rescues will continue “until the end of pre-born child killing,” Fr. Imbarrato told LifeSiteNews. “That’s without a doubt.”

Police arrest Will Goodman.Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews

The priest noted Brigham “has lost his license in six states.”

“He’s a dangerous guy,” he said.

The pro-life watchdog group Operation Rescue has dubbed Brigham “the worst abortionist in America.” In 2012, he was charged with murder, but those charges were dropped because the state couldn’t prove five murdered babies had been killed in Maryland.

Police found the bodies of 35 aborted babies at an illegal late-term abortion facility Brigham was running. Some of those babies were as old as 36 weeks gestation.

Brigham has a history of harming women, medical license revocation, and being forced to shut down filthy facilities. The New Yorker even profiled some of Brigham’s offenses in a 2014 piece about his “chain” of unsanitary abortion centers.

It did not appear that Brigham was at the facility on Tuesday but Fr. Imbarrato said it was likely another abortionist, possibly Myron Rose, was.

Capital Women’s Services shares a building with a D.C. Department of Health office.

Miller, who this summer served jail time for just over a month alongside Goodman after they violated a judge’s probation terms that they stay 500 feet away from every abortion center in the U.S., told LifeSiteNews it was “edifying” to see Catholic priests witnessing for the lives of pre-born babies in such a strong way.

“Fifty percent of the people who are willing to defend the unborn are ordained Catholic priests,” she said of the day’s activities. And “babies here had two hours of someone defending them.”

Police carry a handcuffed Father Fidelis Moscinski out of Steven Brigham’s D.C. abortuary as he clutches a red rose.Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews

We believe in the Red Rose Rescue that love doesn’t have a boundary,” Miller explained. “There’s no boundary line. The abortion clinic  – they’re the ones that draw those boundaries. Our love has to go past that boundary. The women are sitting there, ready to get their abortions – this is a peaceful, loving act of charity on behalf of those moms and on behalf of their innocent unborn children. And all I can say is that they deserve this defense and we hope to continue to give them the defense that’s involved with Red Rose Rescues.”

Pray for Aborted babies and pray also for an end to abortions!

The Horror Facing Catholics in Nicaragua

The Horror Facing Catholics in Nicaragua


The horror facing Catholics in Nicaragua: attacks, arson, desecration

As violent oppression continues to rise in Nicaragua, with at least 10 people killed on Sunday, Catholic bishops have called for a day of prayer and fasting for July 20 “as an act of atonement for the profanation carried out in recent months against God.”

On that day, the bishops said, “We will pray the prayer of exorcism to St. Michael Archangel.”

Recent developments that led the bishops to issue the call include:

On Tuesday, according to the auxiliary bishop of Managua, the country’s capital, the neighborhood of Monimbo in the southeast city of Masaya was under attack. He said gunfire reached the parish of St. Mary Magdalene, where a Catholic priest was seeking refuge.
On Saturday, the Divine Mercy Church in Managua was under siege for 16 hours. It had become a refuge for students who, while protesting at a nearby university, were attacked by pro-government forces. Pictures posted to social media showed the church had been pockmarked by bullets.
On Sunday, the car of a bishop was shot at as he was on his way to the northern city of Nindiri, where he had hoped to stop an attack by the military. He wasn’t wounded, but the tires and windows of the car were destroyed.
On the same day, the house of a priest in Masaya was ransacked by the police. Belongings were taken with no explanation given.
On Monday, a center of the papal charity Caritas was set aflame in the northern city of Sébaco.
On July 9, a cardinal, a bishop and the papal representative were among clergy from Managua attacked as they attempted to protect St. Sebastian Basilica in the nearby city of Diriamba from a pro-government mob.
The list, though incomplete, serves as an illustration of the situation under President Daniel Ortega and his wife, the country’s vice president, who’ve labeled the Catholic Church as public enemy number one, amid a crisis that exploded in April with widespread protests against a social security reform plan that was never implemented.

“In Nicaragua, amidst this reality of violence, manifestations of evil are expressing themselves in this irrational and disproportionate violence,” said Father Boanerges Carballo, Managua’s episcopal vicar for pastoral affairs.

Yesterday, the brief video below, showing an apparent desecration of a tabernacle and consecrated hosts, appeared on social media with the explanation: “This was done today in Nicaragua – The priest posted a quick video for his bishop. Please pray. Heartbreaking.” It’s unclear where, exactly, this originated. (Please be patient. It may take a moment to load.)

Pray for the people of Nicaragua, their priests, their bishops. Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, pray for us!

Archaeologists May Have Found Evidence To Support Jonah’s Whale 

Archaeologists May Have Found Evidence To Support Jonah’s Whale 


The Mediterranean was once full of whales, but the Romans hunted them to extinction.

While growing up, we all may have read or heard of the biblical story of Jonah being swallowed by a whale. This story has historically caused a bit of controversy, due to the significant lack of whales in the Mediterranean Sea. The question being, how could Jonah have been swallowed by an animal that is not native to the region? Now, however, the debate may be put to bed after a recent archaeological dig at Gibraltar has discovered evidence suggesting the Mediterranean was once home to several species of whales.

Researchers from the Archaeology Department at the University of York reportedly discovered the bones of whales in the ruins of five Roman fish-processing factories located at the Strait of Gibraltar. During the height of Ancient Rome (400 BCE-500 CE), Gibraltar was home of a large fish-processing industry. Hundreds of these now ruined factories still dot the landscape.

It is unusual to find whale bones at an archaeological site as they easily fragment and much of whale processing takes place at sea, leaving scant evidence for historians. These bones, however, were intact and prime for DNA testing, the results of which Breaking Israel News reports:

Using ancient DNA analysis and collagen fingerprinting, the researchers identified the bones as belonging to the North Atlantic Right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and the Atlantic Gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus). Until their findings brought proof these species were common in the region, it was assumed that the Mediterranean Sea was outside of the historical range of the Right and Gray whales.

Co-author of the study Dr. Camilla Speller, from the University of York, commented, “Our study shows that these two species were once part of the Mediterranean marine ecosystem and probably used the sheltered basin as a calving ground.”

The report suggested the Romans were to blame for the disappearance of the large sea mammals. It is known that the ancient Romans had a penchant for new and unusual foods and whales would have been quite the delicacy, as deep sea whales would have been too difficult to capture. It is now assumed that the Romans hunted the Right and Gray whales of the Mediterranean to extinction.

Lead author of the report, Dr. Ana Rodrigues, from the French National Centre for Scientific Research, explained:

“Romans did not have the necessary technology to capture the types of large whales currently found in the Mediterranean, which are high-seas species. But Right and Gray whales and their calves would have come very close to shore, making them tempting targets for local fishermen.”

Rabbi Shaul Judelman, former director of the Ecology Beit Midrash, has made a study of the religious implications of man’s relationship with the environment. He told Breaking Israel News:

“Civilization and economy has taken something that God set up in the world and destroyed it. That should be a serious message to someone who believes that God created the world and set man to guard over it. We need to pause and ask if something good or something bad happened here.”

Rabbi Judelman suggested that perhaps the Roman’s practice of hunting whales led to their being described in the Talmud as men “who hunted out of an intense desire to consume.”

“The rabbis certainly identified this trait of devouring and over-consuming in the Romans,” said. “Perhaps they even witnessed them hunting whales into extinction just for the sake of a new flavor and out of this experience set the return of the leviathan as a necessary part of geula.”

In recent years whale sightings have become a bit more frequent in the Mediterranean sea. In 2010, after sighting a Gray whale off the coast of Israel, Robert Brownell, a prominent cetacean researcher, compared the sight to “finding a dinosaur in your backyard.” Earlier this year, a Blue whale was spotted off the coast of Eilat in southern Israel for the first time.

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