Sic patres vitam peragunt in umbra

In English, The Fathers Lived A Life in Shade. Hymn for Lauds on 12 February, Feast of the Seven Holy Founders. It was written by Vincent Tarozzi (1849-1918). The English title given above is by C. Paul.

Published in: on 18 February 2007 at 10:48 am  Leave a Comment  


(Hebrew: shoulder)

Israelite city north of Bethel and Silo, in the tribe of Ephraim; first capital of the Kingdom of Israel, noted as the burial-place of Joseph (Josiah 24).

Published in: on 18 February 2007 at 10:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Sibylline Books

Collections of supposed prophecies of seeresses. Originally the Sibyls were pagan prophetesses, whose utterances written in hexameter verse were preserved in Rome and other places. In the 2nd century BC the Hellenistic Jews, for propaganda purposes, issued verses similar in form to the Sibylline prophecies; and later, certain Christians in the early centuries did the same, for the like purpose of disseminating the doctrines of their religion.

Published in: on 18 February 2007 at 10:44 am  Leave a Comment  


40kb gif map of Thailand; swiped off the World Fact Book web site

Constitutional monarchy in southeastern Asia, covering 198,115 square miles with a population of approximately 64,600,000; known as Siam until 1939. It is thought that the first Christian missionary in this region was a French Franciscan, Bonferre, who preached there about 1550. In 1554 two Dominicans, Father Hieronymus of the Cross and Father Sebastian de Cantu, came as chaplains to the Portuguese soldiers who were in the service of the king of Siam. They established three parishes and made many converts. Both were murdered in 1569, but others soon took their places, and in spite of intermittent persecution, in which there were additional martyrs, the work was continued by the same orders and by others, including Jesuits and Augustinians. In 1662 a Vicariate Apostolic of Siam was founded; this has since been reduced in extent and renamed Bangkok; since 1669 it has been under the care of the Society of Foreign Missions of Paris. Siam became a refuge for hundreds of Christians who fled from persecution in Annam andJapan. The Church there has often been protected and assisted by the kings, particularly Phra-Narai: in the 17th century and Mongkut and Chulalongkorn in the 19th and 20th, though many local mandarins and Burmese invaders have been hostile. Since the overthrow of the absolute monarchy in 1932, Thailand has had 17 constitutions and charters with government forms ranging from military dictatorship to electoral democracy; all have acknowledged a hereditary monarch as the head of state, and the current one is King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The people are primarily Buddhist with less than 1% being Christian. Ecclesiastically, Thailand is governed by the archdiocese of

  • Bangkok
  • Thare and Nonseng

and the dioceses of

  • Chanthaburi
  • Chiang Mai
  • Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Nakhon Sawan
  • Ratchaburi
  • Surat Thani
  • Ubon Ratchathani
  • Udon Thani
Published in: on 18 February 2007 at 10:36 am  Leave a Comment  


Also known as the Secwepemcs. North American Indian tribe (Su-khapmuh), most important of Salishan limguistic stock in British Columbia, including groups at Kamloops, Adams Lake, Alkali Lake, Canoe Creek, Neskaintith, Spallumcheen, and Williams Lake. In their primitive condition the Shuswaps lived by hunting, fishing, and gathering berries. Their semi-subterranean houses were built of logs and covered with earth. Their weapons were the bow, lance, stone axe, and club. Their tribal organization was without central authority. Village chiefs were hereditary; the people were divided into nobles, commons, and slaves. There were no clans; descent was patriarchal. Their religion was animism. They are now nearly all Catholic; their missions are at Williams Lake and Kamloops. They were visited by the Jesuits in the 17th century and later by the Oblates.

Published in: on 18 February 2007 at 10:31 am  Leave a Comment  


(Old English: to shrive, i.e., hear confessions)

Monday and Tuesday (also sometimes the preceding Thursday) before Ash Wednesday, known in sourther Europe as the Carnival (carnem levare, taking away of flesh); a period of festivity before Lent.

Published in: on 17 February 2007 at 10:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Holy Shroud

17kb jpg of the 1898 photograph of the Shroud of Turin

This name is given primarily to a relic, preserved at Turin, Italy, since 1578, for which the claim is made that it is the actual “clean linen coat” in which Joseph of Arimathea wrapped the body of Jesus Christ (Matthew 27), after the Crucifixion. It is a cloth about 13.5 feet long, 4.25 feet wide. Thought blackened by age, it bears the faint but distinct impress of a human form, both back and front; it was first heard of c.1360 at Lirey in the diocese of Troyes. The authenticity of the Holy Shroud is not questioned in various pronouncements of the Holy See, although other shrouds exist elsewhere, notably those of Champiegne, Besançon, Xabregas, and Cadouin. In 1901, Dr Paul Vignon read a paper before the Academie des Sciences in which he maintained that the image upon the shroud was a natural negative of the Sacred Body, and as such was completely beyond the skill of any medieval forger.

Published in: on 17 February 2007 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

shrines in Great Britain and Ireland

In England, famous shrines of Our Lady were at

  • Abingdon
  • Canterbury
  • Caversham
  • Coventry
  • Ely
  • Evesham
  • Glastonbury
  • Ipswich
  • Lincoln
  • Tewkesbury
  • Walsingham
  • Worcester

in Scotland, at

  • Aberdeen
  • Edinburgh
  • Haddington
  • Musselburgh

in Ireland, at

  • Dublin
  • Muckross
  • Navan
  • Trim

Celebrated shrines of the saints were those of

  • Aidan
  • Alban
  • Cuthbert of Lindisfarne
  • Edmund the Martyr
  • Edward the Confessor
  • Gilbert of Sempringham
  • Hugh of Lincoln
  • Kentigern of Scotland
  • Ninian
  • Osmund
  • Oswald of Northumbria
  • Patrick
  • Swithin
  • Thomas Becket
  • Thomas of Hereford
  • Wilfrid
  • Wulstan
Published in: on 17 February 2007 at 10:33 pm  Leave a Comment  


(Latin: scrinium)

Case or chest for books or papers, the box, casket, or other repository in which the relics of a saint are preserved. Also refers to a tomb-like erection of rich workmanship enclosing the same. See also the entry on pilgrimages.

Published in: on 17 February 2007 at 9:40 pm  Leave a Comment  


28kb jpg photograph of a statue of Shiva in Bangalore, India; taken on 22 December 2005 by Deepak; swiped off the Wikipedia web site

In Hindu mythology, a god who forms the trinity with Brahma and Vishnu; as the former is the creator, and the latter the preserver, so Shiva is the destroyer. But as death is a new form of life, the destroyer is really a re-creator, and thus Shiva is called the Bright or Happy One. His name does not occur in the Vedas, but in later Hinduism he is an important divinity.

Published in: on 12 February 2007 at 12:43 am  Leave a Comment  

archdiocese of Blantyre, Malawi

Originated in 1901 as a mission site conducted by the Missionaries of the Society of Mary. Formally founded on 3 December 1903 as the Prefecture Apostolic of Shiré, Nyassaland. Elevated on 14 April 1908 to the Vicariate Apostolic of ShirĂ©. Name changed to the Vicariate Apostolic of Blantyre on 15 May 1952. Elevated to the archdiocese of Blantyre on 25 April 1959. Suffragan dioceses include

  • Chikwawa
  • Dedza
  • Lilongwe
  • Mangochi
  • Mzuzu
  • Zomba
Published in: on 11 February 2007 at 9:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Blessing of Ships

A rite which has been in existence since the time of the Crusades. It consists of prayers to be offered by the priest, supplicating God to bless the vessel and protect those who sail in it, as He protected the ark of Noe, and also Peter, when the latter was sinking in the sea; the ship is then sprinkled with holy water.

Published in: on 11 February 2007 at 9:11 pm  Leave a Comment  


(Chinese: shin, god; tao, way)

The original national religion of Japan, with millions of adherents. It has neither dogmas nor sacred writings, and is a compound of pantheism and the worship of ancestors and heroes. It teaches that all nature is controlled by gods, from whom the first emperor sprang; hence the mikado is the descendant of the deity, and is the high-priest. Its moral code can be reduced to these principles: follow the inspiration of your own heart, and obey the emperor. In A.D. 552, Buddhism was united with Shintoism, and the fusion, known as Rio-bu-Shinto, was the national religion until 1868, when a revolution separated the two.

Published in: on 11 February 2007 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

shibboleth; scibboleth

(Hebrew: ear of corn)

A word used by Jephte as a password by which to distinguish the fleeing Ephraimites from his own men, the Galaadites. If they could not pronounce it, and said “sibboleth” instead, they were put to death (Judges 12); in modern times, a password, a slogan, a peculiarity of pronunciation or accent which indicates a person’s origin.

Published in: on 11 February 2007 at 9:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

archdiocese of Sherbrooke, Quebec

Founded on 28 August 1874 as the diocese of Sherbrooke, Quebec. Elevated to an archdiocese on 2 March 1951. Suffragen dioceses include

  • Nicolet, Quebec
  • Saint Hyacinthe, Quebec
Published in: on 11 February 2007 at 8:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sherborne Abbey

28kb jpg photograph of Sherborne Abbey; taken by Joe D on 30 October 2004; swiped off the Wikipedia web site

Dorsetshire, Englanld. Founded in 998, the place having been chosen two centuries earlier by Saint Aldbem, as the seat of the Bishop of Western Wessex. Bishop Wulfsy III intorduced the Benedictine Rule. At the confiscation in 1536, the conventual buildings went to the school, which was refounded in 1550. Sherborne School is now a leading public school. The abbey church remains the parish church of the town.

Published in: on 11 February 2007 at 8:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Shepherd of Hermas

Name of a treatise highly esteemed in early times and once ranking next to the Holy Scriptures. It is an ethical rather than a theological work, preaching repentance, and consisting of five visions, twelve mandates, and two parables; particularly valuable as a contemporary record of 2nd century Christianity in Rome. The authorship has been attributed to Hermas, mentioned by Saint Paul in his letter to the Romans, 14; but with more likelihood, to a brother of Pope Saint Pius I.

Published in: on 11 February 2007 at 7:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

John Shepherd

Composer. Born in England c.1512; died there c.1563. A chorister under Thomas Mulliner at Saint Paul’s, he became in 1542 choir-master and organist at Magdalen College, Oxford, and in 1549 gained a fellowship. From 1553 to 1558 he belonged to Mary Tudor’s Chapel Royal. The Music School, Oxford, has preserved in manuscripts many of his religious compositions. Notable selections are four masses, several alleluias, and ten motets.

Published in: on 11 February 2007 at 7:44 pm  Leave a Comment  


(Hebrew: a cave)

In the Old Testament times it was the place where the souls of the dead abide: the land of oblivion (Psalm 87); called Hades in the Greek New Testament (Luke 16), and later used as a synonym for Gehenna, the hell of torments, the Latin infernus. Souls were treated according to their merit; the just looked for liberation.

Published in: on 11 February 2007 at 7:33 pm  Leave a Comment  


(D.V., sicle; Hebrew: sheqel, to weigh)

An ancient unit of weight of the Babylonians, Phenicians, and Hebrews, equal to one sixtieth of a pound. It was also the name of the chief silver coin of the Hebrews, and is mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 24; Exodus 30 ; 2nd Kings 14).

Published in: on 11 February 2007 at 4:56 pm  Leave a Comment