Saint Catherine Labouré, D. C.. was a French member of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul and is a Marian visionary. She is believed to have relayed the request from the Blessed Virgin Mary to create the famous Miraculous Medal of Our Lady of Graces worn by millions of people around the world. Catherine was born on May 2, 1806, in the Burgundy region of France to Pierre Labouré, a farmer, Madeleine Louise Gontard, the ninth of 11 living children. Catherine's mother died on October 1815, when Catherine was nine years old, it is said that after her mother's funeral, Catherine picked up a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and kissed it saying, "Now you will be my mother." Her father's sister offered to care for his two youngest children and Marie Antoinette. After he agreed, the sisters moved to their aunt's house at Saint-Rémy, a village nine kilometers from their home. Labouré was observed to be devout, of a somewhat romantic nature, given to visions and intuitive insights; as a young woman, she became a member of the nursing order founded by Saint Vincent de Paul, the Daughters of Charity.
In April 1830, the remains of Saint Vincent de Paul were translated to the Vincentian church in Paris. The solemnities included a novena. On three successive evenings, upon returning from the church to the Rue du Bac, a church, Catherine experienced in the convent chapel, a vision of what she took to be the heart of St. Vincent above a shrine containing a relic of bone from his right arm; each time the heart appeared a different color: white and crimson. She interpreted this to mean that the Vincentian communities would prosper, that there would be a change of government; the convent chaplain advised her to forget the matter. Sister Catherine Labouré stated that on July 19, 1830, the eve of the feast of Saint Vincent de Paul, she woke up after hearing the voice of a child calling her to the chapel, where she heard the Virgin Mary say to her, "God wishes to charge you with a mission. You do not fear. Tell your spiritual director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and in the world."Catherine keep walking thinking about what she just heard.
On November 27, 1830, Catherine reported that the Blessed Mother returned to her during evening meditations. She displayed herself inside an oval frame, standing upon a globe, rays of light came out of her hands in the direction of a globe. Around the margin of the frame appeared the words "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." As Catherine watched, the frame seemed to rotate, showing a circle of twelve stars, a large letter M surmounted by a cross, the stylized Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary underneath. Asked why some of the rays of light did not reach the Earth, Mary replied "Those are the graces for which people forget to ask." Catherine heard Mary ask her to take these images to her father confessor, telling him that they should be put on medallions. "All who wear them will receive great graces."Sister Catherine did so, after two years of investigation and observation of Catherine's normal daily behavior, the priest took the information to his archbishop without revealing Catherine's identity.
The request was approved and the design of the medallions was commissioned through French goldsmith Adrien Vachette. They proved to be exceedingly popular; the dogma of the Immaculate Conception had not yet been promulgated, but the medal with its "conceived without sin" slogan was influential in popular approval of the idea. Sister Catherine spent the next forty years caring for the infirm. For this, she is called the patroness of seniors, she died on December 1876, at the age of seventy. Her body is encased in glass beneath the side altar in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal at 140 Rue du Bac, Paris, her cause for sainthood was declared upon discovering. She was beatified on May 28, 1933 by Pope Pius XI and canonized on July 27, 1947 by Pope Pius XII. Saint Catherine's feast day is observed on November 28 according to the liturgical calendar of the Congregation of the Mission, the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Paris, she is listed in the Martyrologium Romanum for December 31.
Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary Miraculous Medal Green Scapular Saint Catherine Labouré of the Miraculous Medal, by Joseph I Dirvin, CM, TAN Books and Publishers, Inc, 1958/84. ISBN 0-89555-242-6 Saint Catherine Labouré and the Miraculous Medal, Alma Power-Waters, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1962. ISBN 0-89870-765-X Joseph I. Dirvin, CM. "St. Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal". "Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, rue du Bac, Paris". "Saint Catherine Labouré: mystic and messenger of the Miraculous Medal". Invisible Monastery of charity and fraternity - Christian family prayer. Archived from the original on Feb 27, 2018
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Eastern Orthodox Church the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with 200–260 million members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods, although half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia; the church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, the Near East. Eastern Orthodox theology is based on the Nicene Creed; the church teaches that it is the One, Holy and Apostolic church established by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles. It maintains, its patriarchates, reminiscent of the pentarchy, autocephalous and autonomous churches reflect a variety of hierarchical organisation.
Of its innumerable sacred mysteries, it recognises seven major sacraments, of which the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in synaxis. The church teaches that through consecration invoked by a priest, the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ; the Virgin Mary is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church as the God-bearer, honoured in devotions. The Eastern Orthodox Church shared communion with the Roman Catholic Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, triggered by disputes over doctrine the authority of the Pope. Before the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, the Oriental Orthodox churches shared in this communion, separating over differences in Christology; the majority of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Southeast and Eastern Europe, Cyprus and other communities in the Caucasus region, communities in Siberia reaching the Russian Far East. There are smaller communities in the former Byzantine regions of the Eastern Mediterranean, in the Middle East where it is decreasing due to persecution.
There are many in other parts of the world, formed through diaspora and missionary activity. In keeping with the church's teaching on universality and with the Nicene Creed, Orthodox authorities such as Saint Raphael of Brooklyn have insisted that the full name of the church has always included the term "Catholic", as in "Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church"; the official name of the Eastern Orthodox Church is the "Orthodox Catholic Church". It is the name by which the church refers to itself in its liturgical or canonical texts, in official publications, in official contexts or administrative documents. Orthodox teachers refer to the church as Catholic; this name and longer variants containing "Catholic" are recognised and referenced in other books and publications by secular or non-Orthodox writers. The common name of the church, "Eastern Orthodox Church", is a shortened practicality that helps to avoid confusions in casual use. From ancient times through the first millennium, Greek was the most prevalent shared language in the demographic regions where the Byzantine Empire flourished, Greek, being the language in which the New Testament was written, was the primary liturgical language of the church.
For this reason, the eastern churches were sometimes identified as "Greek" before the Great Schism of 1054. After 1054, "Greek Orthodox" or "Greek Catholic" marked a church as being in communion with Constantinople, much as "Catholic" did for communion with Rome; this identification with Greek, became confusing with time. Missionaries brought Orthodoxy to many regions without ethnic Greeks, where the Greek language was not spoken. In addition, struggles between Rome and Constantinople to control parts of Southeastern Europe resulted in the conversion of some churches to Rome, which also used "Greek Catholic" to indicate their continued use of the Byzantine rites. Today, many of those same churches remain, while a large number of Orthodox are not of Greek national origin, do not use Greek as the language of worship. "Eastern" indicates the geographical element in the Church's origin and development, while "Orthodox" indicates the faith, as well as communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
There are additional Christian churches in the east that are in communion with neither Rome nor Constantinople, who tend to be distinguished by the category named "Oriental Orthodox". While the church continues to call itself "Catholic", for reasons of universality, the common title of "Eastern Orthodox Church" avoids casual confusion with the Roman Catholic Church; the first known use of the phrase "the catholic Church" occurred in a letter written about 110 AD from one Greek church to another. The letter states: "Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be as where Jesus may be, there is the universal Church." Thus from the beginning, Christians referred to the Church as the "One, Holy and Apostolic Church". The Eastern Orthodox Church claims that it is today the continuation and preservation of that same early Church. A number of other Christian churches make a similar claim: the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Assyrian Church and the Oriental Orthodox.
In the Eastern Orthodox v
Francis Xavier, S. J. was a Navarrese Roman Catholic missionary, a co-founder of the Society of Jesus. Born in Javier, Kingdom of Navarre, he was a companion of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits who took vows of poverty and chastity at Montmartre, Paris, in 1534, he led an extensive mission into Asia in the Portuguese Empire of the time and was influential in evangelization work, most notably in India. The Goa Inquisition was proposed by St. Francis Xavier, he was the first Christian missionary to venture into Japan, the Maluku Islands, other areas. In those areas, struggling to learn the local languages and in the face of opposition, he had less success than he had enjoyed in India. Xavier was about to extend his missionary preaching to China, he was beatified by Pope Paul V on 25 October 1619 and canonized by Pope Gregory XV on 12 March 1622. In 1624 he was made co-patron of Navarre. Known as the "Apostle of the Indies" and "Apostle of Japan", he is considered to be one of the greatest missionaries since Saint Paul.
In 1927, Pope Pius XI published the decree "Apostolicorum in Missionibus" naming Saint Francis Xavier, along with Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, co-patron of all foreign missions. He is now co-patron saint of Navarre with San Fermin; the Day of Navarre in Navarre, marks nowadays the anniversary of Saint Francis Xavier's death, on 3 December 1552. Francis Xavier was born in the royal castle of Xavier, in the Kingdom of Navarre, on 7 April 1506 according to a family register, he was the youngest son of Juan de Jasso y Atondo, seneschal of Xavier castle, who belonged to a prosperous farming family and had acquired a doctorate in law at the University of Bologna. Juan became privy counsellor and finance minister to King John III of Navarre. Francis's mother was Doña María de Azpilcueta y Aznárez, sole heiress of two noble Navarrese families, he was through her related to philosopher Martín de Azpilcueta. In 1512, King of Aragon and regent of Castile, invaded Navarre, initiating a war that lasted over 18 years.
Three years Francis's father died when Francis was only nine years old. In 1516, Francis's brothers participated in a failed Navarrese-French attempt to expel the Spanish invaders from the kingdom; the Spanish Governor, Cardinal Cisneros, confiscated the family lands, demolished the outer wall, the gates, two towers of the family castle, filled in the moat. In addition, the height of the keep. Only the family residence inside the castle was left. In 1522 one of Francis's brothers participated with 200 Navarrese nobles in dogged but failed resistance against the Castilian Count of Miranda in Amaiur, the last Navarrese territorial position south of the Pyrenees. In 1525, Francis went to study in Paris at the Collège Sainte-Barbe, University of Paris, where he would spend the next eleven years. In the early days he acquired some reputation as a high-jumper. In 1529, Francis shared lodgings with his friend Pierre Favre. A new student, Ignatius of Loyola, came to room with them. At 38, Ignatius was much older than Francis, who were both 23 at the time.
Ignatius convinced Pierre to become a priest, but was unable to convince Francis, who had aspirations of worldly advancement. At first Francis regarded the new lodger as a joke and was sarcastic about his efforts to convert students; when Pierre left their lodgings to visit his family and Ignatius was alone with Francis, he was able to break down Francis's resistance. According to most biographies Ignatius is said to have posed the question: "What will it profit a man to gain the whole world, lose his own soul?" However, according to James Broderick such method is not characteristic of Ignatius and there is no evidence that he employed it at all. In 1530 Francis received the degree of Master of Arts, afterwards taught Aristotelian philosophy at Beauvais College, University of Paris. On 15 August 1534, seven students met in a crypt beneath the Church of Saint Denis, on the hill of Montmartre, overlooking Paris, they were Francis, Ignatius of Loyola, Alfonso Salmeron, Diego Laínez, Nicolás Bobadilla from Spain, Peter Faber from Savoy, Simão Rodrigues from Portugal.
They made private vows of poverty and obedience to the Pope, vowed to go to the Holy Land to convert infidels. Francis began his study of theology in 1534 and was ordained on 24 June 1537. In 1539, after long discussions, Ignatius drew up a formula for a new religious order, the Society of Jesus. Ignatius's plan for the order was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540. In 1540 King John of Portugal had Pedro Mascarenhas, Portuguese ambassador to the Holy See, request Jesuit missionaries to spread the faith in his new possessions in India, where the king believed that Christian values were eroding among the Portuguese. After successive appeals to the Pope asking for missionaries for the East Indies under the Padroado agreement, John III was encouraged by Diogo de Gouveia, rector of the Collège Sainte-Barbe, to recruit the newly graduated students that would establish the Society of Jesus. Ignatius promptly appointed Simão Rodrigues. At the last moment, Bobadilla became ill. With some hesitance and uneasiness, Ignatius asked Francis to go in Bobadilla's place.
Thus, Francis Xavier began his life as the first Jesuit missionary accidentally. Leaving Rome on 15 March 1540, in the Ambassador's train, Franci
Parascheva of the Balkans
For other saints named Paraskevi or Parascheva, see Saint Paraskevi. Saint Paraskeva of the Balkans was an ascetic female saint of the 10th century, she was born in the town of Epivates on the shore of the Sea of Marmara. Her parents were wealthy landowners. A church, dedicated to her, had been built in Selimpaşa on the spot where her house of birth once stood; the oldest testimony regarding the church dates back to the year 1200. It was written by the Russian voyager Bishop of Novgorod. In August 1817 the church was destroyed by a great fire, it was rebuilt in 1820, with the financial support of the citizens of Constantinople and the Prince of Moldo-Wallahia, Alexander Kallimachi. In 1885 the Community demolished the old church in order to construct a much bigger one on the same place; the building was completed after 6 years, for which parts of the Byzantine tower of Duke Alexis Apokaukos were re-used as building material. It was the biggest church of whole Eastern Thrace, a real jewel that in could be seen from kilometres away.
It was demolished in the spring of 1979,and now in the same place there is a park. Legend says that when she was a child, Paraskeva heard in a church the Lord's words: "Whoever wants to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, follow Me.". These words would determine her to give her rich clothes away to the poor and flee to Constantinople, her parents, who did not support her decision to follow an ascetic, religious life, looked for her in various cities. Paraskeva fled to Chalcedon, afterwards lived at the church of the Most Holy Theotokos in Heraclea Pontica, she lived an austere life. Her voyages took her to Jerusalem. After seeing Jerusalem, she settled in convent in the river Jordanian desert; when she was 25, an angel appeared. She returned to Constantinople, when she was 25, lived in the village of Kallikrateia, in the church of the Holy Apostles, she died at the age of 27. Christian tradition states that after an old sinner was buried near Paraskeva’s grave, the saint protested by appearing in a dream to a local monk.
The vision informed the monk. The relics were translated to the church of the Holy Apostles in Kallikrateia; the cult of Saint Parascheva spread in the 14th century from Bulgaria northwards into the Romanian principalities and Moldavia. In this period, Bishop Evtimiy of Tarnovo wrote the biography of Saint Parascheva - "Hagiography of Saint Petka of Tarnovo”; the bishop's work was inspired from the Greek Bios of deacon Basilikos, written in the year 1150 by request of Constantinople Patriarch Nicholas IV Mouzelon. Sometimes, Saint Parascheva of Thrace is named The New. There are other two saints with Saint Paraskevi of Rome and Saint Paraskevi of Iconium. For some scholars is a certain disambiguation concerning these three saints. Confusion can be made with some folk tales characters. Paraskeva’s cult and attributes became confused with that of other saints with the same name as well as pre-Christian deities of the Slavs; this confusion was made because the Greek name of St Parascheva was “paraskevi”, meaning “Friday”.
The translation in languages as Romanian or Serbian was “Sfânta Vineri” or “Sveti Petka” meaning Saint Friday. The translation from Greek language to Romanian, Serbian or Bulgarian language was sometimes misunderstood by some scholars who connected the translated name of Saint Parascheva, Saint Friday, with a certain character from folk tales having a similar name; as one scholar asks: Was Parasceve, or Paraskeva, an early Christian maiden named in honor of the day of the Crucifixion? Or was she a personification of that day, pictured cross in hand to assist the fervor of the faithful? And was the Paraskeva of the South Slavs the same who made her appearance in northern Russia? The answer is that there is a complete separation between the 10th-century Christian Saint Parascheva The New and folk character derived by pre-Christian mystical beliefs; the separation is made by rich biography and iconography transferred from the 10th century to 21st, all this information and studies being connected to a real person who lived in that period.
Hagiographies of Saint Parascheva were written by: deacon Basilikos in 1150, bishop Evtimiy of Tarnovo, metropolitan Matei of Mira in 1605, metropolitan Varlaam of Moldova in 1643, Saint Nikodimos the Athonite, Romanian Bishop Melchisedec of Roman in 1889. The cults of Paraskevi of Iconium and Paraskeva of the Balkans were conflated with that of a Slavic deity associated with Friday, alternatively known as Petka, Pyatnitsa, or Zhiva. Attributes, such as the association with spinning, were merged into the cult of these saints. Any confusion was clarified after Romanian Orthodox Church decided on 28 February 1950 to generalise the cult of Saint Parascheva The New; the generalisation of the cult was celebrated on 14 October 1955 in Iasi Cathedral with the presence of high rank clerics from Bulgaria and Russia. Some modern Romanian theologians published studie
Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 28 October 1958 to his death in 1963. Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was one of thirteen children born to a family of sharecroppers who lived in a village in Lombardy, he was ordained to the priesthood on 10 August 1904 and served in a number of posts, as nuncio in France and a delegate to Bulgaria and Turkey. In a consistory on 12 January 1953 Pope Pius XII made Roncalli a cardinal as the Cardinal-Priest of Santa Prisca in addition to naming him as the Patriarch of Venice. Roncalli was unexpectedly elected pope on 28 October 1958 at age 76 after 11 ballots. Pope John XXIII surprised those who expected him to be a caretaker pope by calling the historic Second Vatican Council, the first session opening on 11 October 1962, his passionate views on equality were summed up in his statement, "We were all made in God's image, thus, we are all Godly alike."John XXIII made many passionate speeches during his pontificate.
He made a major impact on the Catholic Church, opening it up to dramatic unexpected changes promulgated at the Vatican Council and by his own dealings with other churches and nations. In Italian politics, he prohibited bishops from interfering with local elections, he helped the Christian Democratic Party to cooperate with the socialists. In international affairs, his "Ostpolitik" engaged in dialogue with the Communist countries of Eastern Europe, he reached out to the Eastern Orthodox churches. His overall goal was to modernize the Church by emphasizing its pastoral role, its necessary involvement with affairs of state, he dropped the traditional rule of 70 cardinals, increasing the size to 85. He used the opportunity to name the first cardinals from Africa and the Philippines, he promoted ecumenical movements in cooperation with other Christian faiths. In doctrinal matters, he was a traditionalist, but he ended the practice of automatically formulating social and political policies on the basis of old theological propositions.
He did not live to see the Vatican Council to completion. His cause for canonization was opened on 18 November 1965 by his successor, Pope Paul VI, who declared him a Servant of God. On 5 July 2013, Pope Francis – bypassing the traditionally required second miracle – declared John XXIII a saint, based on his virtuous, model lifestyle, because of the good which had come from his having opened the Second Vatican Council, he was canonised alongside Pope John Paul II on 27 April 2014. John XXIII today is affectionately known as the "Good Pope" and in Italian, "il Papa buono". Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was born on 25 November 1881 in Sotto il Monte, a small country village in the Bergamo province of the Lombardy region of Italy, he was the eldest son of Giovanni Battista Roncalli and his wife Marianna Giulia Mazzolla, fourth in a family of 13. His siblings were: Maria Caterina Teresa Ancilla Francesco Zaverio Maria Elisa Assunta Casilda Domenico Giuseppe Alfredo Giovanni Francesco Enrica Giuseppe Luigi Luigi His family worked as sharecroppers, as did most of the people of Sotto il Monte – a striking contrast to that of his predecessor, Eugenio Pacelli, who came from an ancient aristocratic family long connected to the papacy.
Roncalli was nonetheless a descendant of an Italian noble family, albeit from a secondary and impoverished branch. In 1889, Roncalli received both his First Communion and Confirmation at the age of 8. On 1 March 1896, Luigi Isacchi, the spiritual director of his seminary, enrolled him into the Secular Franciscan Order, he professed his vows as a member of that order on 23 May 1897. In 1904, Roncalli completed his doctorate in Canon Law and was ordained a priest in the Catholic Church of Santa Maria in Monte Santo in Piazza del Popolo in Rome on 10 August. Shortly after that, while still in Rome, Roncalli was taken to Saint Peter's Basilica to meet Pope Pius X. After this, he would return to his town to celebrate mass for the Assumption. In 1905, Giacomo Radini-Tedeschi, the new Bishop of Bergamo, appointed Roncalli as his secretary. Roncalli worked for Radini-Tedeschi until the bishop's death on 22 August 1914, two days after the death of Pope Pius X. Radini-Tedeschi's last words to Roncalli were "Angelo, pray for peace".
The death of Radini-Tedeschi had a deep effect on Roncalli. During this period Roncalli was a lecturer in the diocesan seminary in Bergamo. During World War I, Roncalli was drafted into the Royal Italian Army as a sergeant, serving in the medical corps as a stretcher-bearer and as a chaplain. After being discharged from the army in early 1919, he was named spiritual director of the seminary. On 6 November 1921, Roncalli travelled to Rome. After their meeting, Pope Benedict XV appointed him as the Italian president of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. Roncalli would recall Benedict XV as being the most sympathetic of the popes he had met. In February 1925, the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri summoned him to the Vatican and informed him of Pope Pius XI's decision to appoint him as the Apostolic Visitor to Bulgaria. On 3 March, Pius XI named him for consecration as titular archbishop of Areopolis, Jordan. Roncalli was reluctant about a mission to Bulgaria, but he would soon relent.
His nomination as apostolic visitor was made official on 19 Marc
A mummy is a deceased human or an animal whose skin and organs have been preserved by either intentional or accidental exposure to chemicals, extreme cold low humidity, or lack of air, so that the recovered body does not decay further if kept in cool and dry conditions. Some authorities restrict the use of the term to bodies deliberately embalmed with chemicals, but the use of the word to cover accidentally desiccated bodies goes back to at least 1615 AD. Mummies of humans and animals have been found on every continent, both as a result of natural preservation through unusual conditions, as cultural artifacts. Over one million animal mummies have been found in Egypt. Many of the Egyptian animal mummies are sacred ibis, radiocarbon dating suggests the Egyptian Ibis mummies that have been analyzed were from time frame that falls between 450 and 250 BC. In addition to the well-known mummies of ancient Egypt, deliberate mummification was a feature of several ancient cultures in areas of America and Asia with dry climates.
The Spirit Cave mummies of Fallon, Nevada in North America were dated at more than 9,400 years old. Before this discovery, the oldest known deliberate mummy was a child, one of the Chinchorro mummies found in the Camarones Valley, which dates around 5050 BC; the oldest known mummified human corpse is a severed head dated as 6,000 years old, found in 1936 AD at the site named Inca Cueva No. 4 in South America. The English word mummy is derived from medieval Latin mumia, a borrowing of the medieval Arabic word mūmiya and from a Persian word mūm, which meant an embalmed corpse, as well as the bituminous embalming substance, meant "bitumen"; the Medieval English term "mummy" was defined as "medical preparation of the substance of mummies", rather than the entire corpse, with Richard Hakluyt in 1599 AD complaining that "these dead bodies are the Mummy which the Phisistians and Apothecaries doe against our willes make us to swallow". These substances were defined as mummia; the OED defines a mummy as "the body of a human being or animal embalmed as a preparation for burial", citing sources from 1615 AD onward.
However, Chamber's Cyclopædia and the Victorian zoologist Francis Trevelyan Buckland define a mummy as follows: "A human or animal body desiccated by exposure to sun or air. Applied to the frozen carcase of an animal imbedded in prehistoric snow". Wasps of the genus Aleiodes are known as "mummy wasps" because they wrap their caterpillar prey as "mummies". While interest in the study of mummies dates as far back as Ptolemaic Greece, most structured scientific study began at the beginning of the 20th century. Prior to this, many rediscovered mummies were sold as curiosities or for use in pseudoscientific novelties such as mummia; the first modern scientific examinations of mummies began in 1901, conducted by professors at the English-language Government School of Medicine in Cairo, Egypt. The first X-ray of a mummy came in 1903, when professors Grafton Elliot Smith and Howard Carter used the only X-ray machine in Cairo at the time to examine the mummified body of Thutmose IV. British chemist Alfred Lucas applied chemical analyses to Egyptian mummies during this same period, which returned many results about the types of substances used in embalming.
Lucas made significant contributions to the analysis of Tutankhamun in 1922. Pathological study of mummies saw varying levels of popularity throughout the 20th century. In 1992, the First World Congress on Mummy Studies was held in Puerto de la Cruz on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. More than 300 scientists attended the Congress to share nearly 100 years of collected data on mummies; the information presented at the meeting triggered a new surge of interest in the subject, with one of the major results being integration of biomedical and bioarchaeological information on mummies with existing databases. This was not possible prior to the Congress due to the unique and specialized techniques required to gather such data. In more recent years, CT scanning has become an invaluable tool in the study of mummification by allowing researchers to digitally "unwrap" mummies without risking damage to the body; the level of detail in such scans is so intricate that small linens used in tiny areas such as the nostrils can be digitally reconstructed in 3-D.
Such modelling has been utilized to perform digital autopsies on mummies to determine cause of death and lifestyle, such as in the case of Tutankhamun. Mummies are divided into one of two distinct categories: anthropogenic or spontaneous. Anthropogenic mummies were deliberately created by the living for any number of reasons, the most common being for religious purposes. Spontaneous mummies, such as Ötzi, were created unintentionally due to natural conditions such as dry heat or cold, or anaerobic conditions such as those found in bogs. While most individual mummies belong to one category or the other, there are examples of both types being connected to a single culture, such as those from the ancient Egyptian culture and the Andean cultures of South America; the earliest ancient Egyptian mummies were created due to the environment in which they were buried. In the era prior to 3500 BC, Egyptians buried the dead in pit graves, without regard to social status. Pit graves were shallow; this characteristic allowed for the hot, dry sand of the desert to dehydrate the bodies, leading to natural mummification.
The natural preservation of the dead had a profound effect on ancient Egyptian religion. Deliberate mummification became an integral part of the rituals for the dead beginning as early as the 2nd dynasty
Virginia Centurione Bracelli
Saint Virginia Centurione Bracelli was an Italian Roman Catholic from Genoa. Her father was the Doge of Genoa and she had a short marriage due to being widowed in 1607. Virginia Centurione was of noble origins, she was the daughter of Lelia Spinola. Despite her desire to live a cloistered life, she was forced into marriage to Gaspare Grimaldi Bracelli, a rich noble, on 10 December 1602, she had two daughters: Isabella. The marriage did not last long, for she became a widow on 13 June 1607 at the age of 20, she refused another arranged marriage brought on due to her father's influence and took up a vow to live a chaste life. After her husband's death she assisted the poor and the sick. To help alleviate the poverty in her town she founded the "Cento Signore della Misericordia Protettrici dei Poveri di Gesù Cristo"; the center was soon overrun with people suffering from the famine and plague of 1629–30 and soon she had to rent the Monte Calvario convent to accommodate all the people that came in. Around 1635 the center was caring for over 300 patients and received recognition as a hospital from the government.
Due to declining funds given from the middle and upper classes the institute lost its government recognition in 1647. Bracelli spent the remainder of her life acting as a peacemaker between noble houses and continuing her work for the poor. Bracelli died on 15 December 1651 at the age of 64; the informative process for the canonization cause commenced on 28 April 1933 and finished its set business in 1957. Theologians approved all of her writings to be in line and respective of the faith in a decree dated 10 April 1959. Historians were tasked to assess whether the cause had obstacles that would impede it and make the process difficult, but the historians allowed for the cause to proceed. The formal introduction of the cause came on 7 January 1977 under Pope Paul VI in which she was accorded the title of Servant of God as the first official stage of the proceedings. An apostolic process was held after this while both processes were validated in Rome so that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints could commence their own investigation.
Theologians approved the cause on 18 October 1983 while the C. C. S. approved it on 20 March 1984. On 7 April 1984 she was made Venerable. Bracelli was beatified on 22 September 1985 and was canonized on 18 May 2003. Daughters of Our Lady on Mount Calvary Catholic Forum Vatican News Saints. SQPN: Virginia Centurione Bracelli Santiebeati: Virginia Centurione Bracelli Catholic Online: Virginia Centurione Bracelli Katolsk.no: Virginia Centurione Bracelli