Sunday, 6 January 2013


The feast of Epiphany falls on January 6th and is the climax of Christmas, marking the end of the twelve days of Christmas and celebrating the visit of the Wise Men to the Messiah. These men are often called Kings or Magi. They brought valuable gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to honour the Divine Infant.

The gift of gold was the gift people usually gave to their King. By giving gold they were recognising Jesus as their King. The second gift, frankincense, is a white gum from a tree called Arbor Thurisfrom. After hardening the gum forms a hard resin which when burnt gives off a fragrant smell. It was burnt as an offering to God during worship, and is often used today as incense for sacerdotal ritual, especially during Mass, over the Easter period and at funerals. It is also used as medicine and as a perfume. The third gift was myrrh, which was also a gum from a thorny tree. Myrrh is a wound healer because it has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and pain relieving qualities. It was used as an embalming material when someone had died.

Epiphany is the day when all Christmas decorations need to be taken down.

The day before Epiphany is the twelfth day of Christmas and is sometimes called Twelfth Night. In the Church calendar the Epiphany season lasts until the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.

To unveil the beginning is to unlock the mystery of the end. For where the beginning is, there the end will be. Happy is he who stands at the beginning he will know the end and will not taste death.


Friday, 4 January 2013

Innocent III

I should like to ask His Excellency about Pope Innocent III and the subject of vampires. Forgive me if I have asked this before, my memory is a little shaky at the moment. Did Pope Innocent III write or order the writing of a treatise on how to destroy vampires? If so, where can I find an English translation of said treatise? I thank His Excellency for his time and consideration, and I ask God to abundantly bless His Excellency and his family and loved ones. In Christ Demetrius.

Innocent III (Pope from 8 January 1198 until his death on 16 July 1216) sanctioned the publication of a treatise on how to make their discovery and thus elimate them. The authorative teaching of the Fourth Lateran Council under Innocent III in 1215 dogmatically lays down: "Diabolus enim et alii daemones a Deo quidem natura creati sunt boni, sed ipsi per se facti mali." A massive gathering of fifteen hundred prelates listened to his decrees and passed them. Innocent III ruled the world in tranquil majesty for close on twenty years. He called for Christian crusades against Muslims in Spain and the Holy Land and against heretics in southern France.

Copies of the treatise held in our archive are in Latin. I am unaware of an English translation. Though extracts might possibly be found in some academic works on the topic by other authors.

Bear in mind that the Slavic word "vampire" was not in use until a much later century, so reports referred to incubi, succubi, revenants and such creatures of the night that nevertheless meet with vampire criteria.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year 2013