για Ελληνικά κάνετε κλικ εδώ
Climatic, and other, changes
The 14th century is a troubled period with many changes, climatic, demographic, political and religious.
Informed from various sources, it is considered very probable that a “small ice age” had begun around 1250 A. D., with the icebergs in the Atlantic Ocean to increase in volume, the warm summers in Europe to dwindle, the winters to be particularly cold and the summers cold and wet. Consequently, Northern Europe suffers, the cultivations fail and the people die of famine. After the most serious famine (1315-1317) the “Black Death” follows, i.e. τηε πλαγθε (1338-1375), which, in its turn, decimates the already weakened population. it is estimated that the three-quarters of Europe’s population lost their lives because of it, that is about 25 million souls.
In this suffering, the Hundred Year War is added, (1337-1453), a war between England and France for the claim of the French throne.
In Italy, the conflict of the Pontiff with the French throne obliges the Pope to abandon Rome and get settled in the city of Avignon in France. Peter’s successors will remain there for about seventy years before they return to Rome (1309-1384).
Faith’s response to the maelstrom of the 14th century was immediate. Many, men and women, faithful to Christ’s calling, sacrificed their time, their fortune and even their own life serving the sick, the poor and the hungry.
One of the most renown figures of that era is Saint Catherine of Sienna (1347-1380).
While very young, she becomes a member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic.
A scholastic philosopher, a theologian and one with mystical experiences, she tirelessly labours for the good of God’s People. She generously gives to the poor, takes care of the sick and even arrives at Avignon (1376) in order to persuade the Pope to return to Rome.
Her correspondence with the Pope, as well as with various political leaders, with the intention of the cessation of conflicts, is characteristic of her personality: Nothing discourages her when the unity of the Church, the peace in society and the obedience to the light of the Holy Spirit is at stake.
In 1461 she is declared a saint by Pius II and in 1970 Paul VI names her Doctor of the Church. Her memory is celebrated on April 29th.
“Twice have I been born”
A popular Greek song says: Twice have I been born, the first time for myself, the second time for thee”.
These verses express a deep love, which marks the life of the person who is in love with a particular existential meaning.
But this strong love experience may very well express the Christian experience too. We come to life, originally for ourselves, in order to live and be happy. However, we are (re)born -through Baptism- for God, having now Him at the centre of our existence.
He will define our happiness and give meaning to our life.
Are we enough “in love” with God, so as to say truthfully: “I have been born for Thee”?
for Greek click here