More People Turning To St. Joseph
Scientists from the Russian Institute of Criminal Investigation have completed a series of analyses on the Shroud of Jesus Christ.
According to the tradition this piece of linen was the Savior’s burial cloth that miraculously preserved an impression of his body and face.
The image was reflected with such clarity that the scientists could point out traces of the horrible wounds. The material piece captured them like a negative slide – it resembled a photograph that is two thousand years old! Experts from all over the world are struggling to solve the mystery of the "Fifth Gospel," as the believers call the Shroud of Turin. They are now joined by the criminal scientists of the Russian Federal Security Service, who have led a series of experiments revealing the circumstances of Christ’s execution.
Specialists from FSS intentionally avoided the religious interpretations concerning the Shroud. Instead they decided to analyze it as physical evidence from the actual crime scene. Research was led by Anatoliy Fesenko, doctor of Technical Sciences, who had been the head of the Criminal Investigation Institute for quite some time.
"Our research was complex; it involved overlapping findings in chemistry, physics, mathematics and biology," the professor explained, "In the beginning we established the possible age of this fabric by remodeling the aging process. Our conclusion showed that the American scientists who had previously calculated the item’s years incorrectly gave it half its actual age. In actuality it is indeed no younger than 2,000 years."
FSS experts were able to use the cloth’s traces to determine the nature of Christ’s wounds inflicted prior to his death. Their discoveries helped them reconstruct the Savior’s passion.
"The clue we examined preserved some material evidence about the abused victim," clarified Anatoliy Fesenko, "The long linen cloth measured 4.3 by 1.1 meters contains faintly showing yellow-brownish imprints of two projections of a nude male body – back and front. Careful examination of all imprints confirms that the man depicted there was beaten with five-tailed thongs that had plubum spikes attached to them.
The right shoulder bears a wide stripe indicating that the victim could have been carrying a heavy object, possibly a cross. The nasal bone is broken from a punch on the left-hand side. The left cheek is swollen – it was in contact with the shroud and left a much greater imprint than the right cheek. The chin is clearly marked, especially on the left side. On the right it has a stain produced by a stream of blood or by a deep wound. The image of the face in general is asymmetrical. The man must have suffered an agony because his facial features did not contract evenly after his death.
His arm right below the wrist contains a large stain from a wound. Hands and feet have the same type of wound. The shoulders are raised. The chest has a shape characteristic of those who died due to suffocation.
His chest also bears marks of a rib area wound whose circumference is 4.5 cm. The left arm also has a wound and small blood clot. The right arm cannot be seen because it was beneath the left one.
Both wrists are darkened by the rich blood amounts from the wounds that pierced them through. Nails were driven through the center of the wrists between the bones, not through the palms, as it is commonly believed. Both wounds are visible on the feet. Their contours are very clear because their blood had clotted long before it touched the fabric. In one place the edges of the blood stain are indented; by spreading further along the cloth’s threads some liquid made the edges lighter. This spot is from the ichors that spilled out of the wound once the body was taken down: a half-dried cut was disturbed again after the nail was pulled out.
FSS Experts reconstructed the processes that would take place within the linen fibers upon coming into contact with human flesh. And not just any flesh, but a flesh of man exhausted from tremendous physical burdens, brought to death through prolonged intense torture and then buried according to the canon of Jewish tradition.
A volunteer from the Institute’s workers’ team – a man with long hair, mustache and beard – spend several hours sweating in a gym until he nearly exhausted himself. Afterwards he was covered with a linen cloth similar to the actual Shroud and was kept underneath it for several hours more.
"We have analyzed this experiment with great precision," reported Fesenko, "This organic material contains various proportions of combined cellulose and lignin, which, when exposed to acids produced by a human organism and heated up, turns into substance very complex in its chemical composition and structure. When it is brought to a particular temperature the normally colorless lignin becomes yellow-brownish in color. If the temperature is raised even higher – it turns dark-brown."
"Experiments have helped produce an almost identical reflection of the object upon the linen fabric. The man’s portrait was very accurate, nearly a photograph," he continued, "We have also noted that the image is projected not because the cloth sticks to the face but because of the evaporation, diffusion and further fixation of the emitted fumes. This explains the unusual nature of the depiction on the fiberish cloth surface."
The conclusions drawn by the FSS could be considered a sensation. The Shroud of Turin is far from being a fake. It naturally preserved an image of a crucified man, whose wounds accurately match those of Jesus Christ described in the Bible.
Translated by Natalia Vysotskaya
Drinking green tea can substantially cut the risk of dying from a range of illnesses, a Japanese study has found.
The research, which looked at over 40,000 people, found the risk of fatal cardiovascular disease was cut by more than a quarter.
But British heart experts said the benefits may be linked to the whole Japanese diet, which is healthier than that eaten in the west.
The work is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world, aside from water.
Three billion kilograms of tea are produced each year worldwide.
Studies carried out in laboratories and on animals have suggested green tea in particular has extensive health benefits.
Women ‘greater benefit’
In this study, which began in 1994, researchers from Tohoku University, looked at how humans could benefit.
They examined data on 40,530 healthy adults aged 40 to 79 in north-eastern Japan, where green tea is widely consumed.
Around 80% of people in the region drink green tea, with more than half consuming three or more cups each day.
The people in the study were followed for up to 11 years (1995-2005), when 4,209 people died from all causes.
The researchers also looked at seven years’ worth of data (from 1995-2001) to look at deaths from specific causes.
In that period, 892 people died of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 1,134 participants died of cancer.
Compared with people who drank less than one cup per day of green tea, those who consumed five or more had a 16% lower risk of dying from any cause during the 11-year study.
They also had a 26% lower risk of dying from CVD in the seven years of follow-up.
There was no significant association between green tea consumption and death from cancer.
Throughout the study, the benefits of green tea appeared greater in women.
Those who drank five cups or more of green tea each day had a 31% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared with those who had less than one.
But the study failed to find a beneficial link between drinking black or oolong tea and a reduced risk of dying from CVD.
‘Low disease rate’
Dr Shinichi Kuriyama, who led the research, said: "The most important finding is that green tea may prolong people’s lives through reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease."
But Ellen Mason, a cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said the Japanese diet as a whole was particularly healthy, and the findings may not apply to people eating western diets.
"The rate of heart disease in Japan is already one of the lowest in the world, and the Japanese diet is believed to play a substantial role in keeping this low.
"Drinking 3-4 cups of green tea in parts of Japan is a daily habit.
"The average British diet contains more saturated fat than the average Japanese diet, and our levels of heart disease are relatively high compared with many other countries in the world.
"It is questionable whether drinking the same amount of green tea a day in the UK would have a significant impact on levels of heart disease."
She added: "Clinical trials are now needed to discover whether something as simple as green tea really can prevent deaths from heart disease."
source URL: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5334836.stm
Describing the 1986 gathering convoked by Pope John Paul as "a timely prophecy", Pope Benedict echoed his predecessor’s warning that no-one can use faith to justify violence, AsiaNews reports.
The World Day in St Francis’ city in October 1986 was unprecedented. It saw, gathered alongside the late Pontiff, representatives of the great world religions, from the Dalai Lama to the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury.
The Pope, then-Cardinal Ratzinger, had expressed reservations about the original gathering at Assisi, which gathered representatives of the great world religions.
Pope Benedict thus also took the opportunity to note that the original inter-faith meeting organised by the Community of St Egidio avoided any "streaks of syncretism" and its successors needed to continue to do so.
"Peace is a value in which many parts merge. To build it, cultural, political and economical channels are certainly important. In the first place, however, peace must be built in people’s hearts," the Pope said.
Greeting participants at the 2006 St Egidio conference For a World of Peace, Religions and culture in dialogue, Pope Benedict again warned of "the duty" even now to "avoid inopportune confusions.
"This is why even when people come together to pray for peace, prayer should unfold according to the distinct journeys that belong to each religion. This was the choice of 1986 and it was a decision that cannot but remain valid still today", he said.
However, John Paul II’s "dream of peace" at the end of the Cold War was not realised, Pope Benedict said.
"If anything, the third millennium started with scenarios of terrorism and violence that do not seem about to go away. Further, the reality that armed conflicts are today unfolding especially against a background of ongoing geo-political tensions in many regions, can give the impression that not only cultural differences but also religious differences may constitute a motive for instability or threats to peace prospects," the Pontiff noted.
The challenges of a multicultural society
Taking up from where the Pope left off, Cardinal Paul Poupard, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, told the St Egidio gathering yesterday that inter-faith dialogue can play an important role in building a peaceful world, according to Catholic World News report.
"We live today in a multicultural and multi-religious society," Cardinal Poupard observed at the opening session of the meeting; "but it is unfortunately also one marked by violence and by the constant exploitation of religions."
True religious faith, the Cardinal said, is always a force "for harmony and peace." Religious leaders should encourage "respect for other believers, and extend lines of friendship to people of other religious traditions."
The first challenge for believers in a multicultural world, Cardinal Poupard said, is "to deepen one’s own tradition – not in a selective manner, but in full fidelity to one’s own religious tradition."
The next challenge, the Cardinal continued, is to find means of building "a greater collaboration to build a more peaceful and harmonious society." Believers of all faiths, he said, should unite to promote human dignity and respect for all persons.
Kyoto’s World Assembly of Religions for Peace
The Assisi gathering also picks up on many threads from the 8th World Assembly of Religions for Peace which brought together 800 religious leaders from more than 100 countries in Kyoto, Japan, last week, Zenit reports.
"At a time when religion is being hijacked by extremists, the religious leaders gathered in Kyoto to demonstrate [to] the entire world the power of religious communities to illuminate the path to peace when they work together," said William Vendley, secretary-general of Religions for Peace.
A "Kyoto Declaration" adopted during the 26-29 August conference on Confronting Violence and Advancing Shared Security offers "a new vision of shared security that properly places religious communities at the centre of efforts to confront violence in all its forms," he added.
source URL: http://www.cathnews.com/news/609/22.php
Sara Salkahazi, who was recognised in 1972 by Yad Vashem, was killed by the Arrow Cross – the Hungarian allies of the Nazis – on 27 December 1944 for hiding Jews in a Budapest building used by her religious order, the Sisters of Social Service, the Jerusalem Post reports.
Salkahazi was taken along with several other occupants of the home and shot, their bodies falling into the Danube River and never recovered.
The beatification rite will take place 17 September at St Stephen’s (St Istvan’s) Basilica, Budapest and will be the first beatification to take place in the country since the beatification of St Stephen himself who was beatified in 1083 along with his son, St Imre, and St Gellert, an Italian bishop who had a key role in converting Hungarians to Christianity.
"Sara Salkahazi heroically exercised her love of humanity stemming from her Christian faith," said Budapest Cardinal Peter Erdo, who will celebrate the beatification mass. "This is for what she gave her life."
Salkahazi was born in the city of Kassa in 1899, at the time in Hungary but now known as Kosice and part of Slovakia.
Changes introduced by Pope Benedict again allow beatification rites to be held around the world, instead of only in the Vatican, as was the norm for centuries.
Church officials also highlighted Salkahazi’s modest middle-class roots, saying she will be first Hungarian to be beatified who is not royalty or a member of the country’s aristocracy, the Post added.
Before taking her religious vows in 1930, Salkahazi worked as a bookbinder, journalist and newspaper editor.
According to the Yad Vashem website, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, was established in 1953 by an act of the Israeli Knesset. Since its inception, Yad Vashem has been entrusted with documenting the history of the Jewish people during the Holocaust period, preserving the memory and story of each of the six million victims, and imparting the legacy of the Holocaust for generations to come through its archives, library, school, museums and recognition of the Righteous Among the Nations.