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I have a leaflet on the front page ef which is a head and shoulder view from the left-hand side, with the caption, " A Traditional Likenese of Our Saviour." On the two middle pages is what purports to be a transcript from an MS. In the possession of Lord Kelly, which in turn is said to he a copy from an original letter of Publius Tentullus, President of Judea, sending a description of Christ to the Roman Senate, The last page contains two prayers. Is this likeness and the description genuine? (J. S. C., S. Devon.)
Unfortunately, no. You will find the matter discussed in the Catholic Encyclopte.dia, val. ix, s.v. Lentulus (not Tentullus) Publius, where it is pointed out that no such person is known to history: that a Roman governor of a province would never send reports to the Senate, hut to the Emperor; that the alleged description contains Hebrew idioms which a Roman would not use, etc. See also the articles in vol. I, s.v. .Abgar (end of art.) apd Apocrypha, section (2). Not only is the description spurious, but the specimen of the leaflet you send does not repeat it accurately. Both facts make it unfortunate that such a leaflet should be produced, as it might make it appear that Catholic devotion depends on valueless evidence What is the meaning of the various bars on the Russian Orthodox Cross (one upright, a short crossbar at the top, a long one as usual, and a medium one sloping down from one side to the other at the bottom)? Is there any connection between that and the expression "To be double-crossed"?
On the conventional Russian Cross the top crossbar represents the title (which bore the "I.N.R.I."), the long one is the same as the crossbar on the Roman Cross, and the low one represents the suppedaneum or foot-rest. We cannot imagine that there is any connection between this and the slang phrase quoted, which is more likely to have
arisen out of the phrase, " to cross a man's path," hence "to cross him," and hence again, in the case of one who crosses or betrays both parties to a dispute, "to double-nose."
Can you recommend a hook on Marriage, something prat-Heal, not one which theorises or is meant for study, but suitable for a young couple about to be married?
A book which precisely answers to the conditions stated is Morals and Marriage: the Catholic Background to Sex, by T. G. Wayne, Long-mans, 3s. ed. This is very strongly recommended. But all young Catholic couples about to be married should read the Encyclical Letter of the late Pope Pius XI, Christian Marriage (C.T.S., 2d.), and the valuable commentary on this (given in the very practical form of a catechism), What is Marriage? by Vermeersch,
(Catholic Social Guild, Oxford, 1e. ed. plus postage).
An excellent practical work at the price of 2s, 6d., by a Catholic priest and a doctor, called Happiness in Marriage, to be published on May 30 by Messrs. Sands and Co., will shortly be reviewed in the CATHOLIC HERALD.
What should Catholic parents tell their children about the facts of Life?
T(Whe.S2u.thoritative answer to this question will be found in the Encyclical Letter of the late Pope Pius XI, On the Christian .Education of Youth (Catholic Truth Society, 38/40, Eccleston Square, S.W.1, 2d.), especially on page 31. Here the Pope rejects the modern pagan custom of giving specific sex-instruction to children, and insists that the age-old attitude of the Church to this age-old problem is in no need of modification today. Briefly, he points out that "evil practices are the effect not so much of ignorance of the intellect as of weakness of a will exposed to dangerous occasions, and unsupported by the means of grace." Catholics, therefore, best meet this problem by giving their children a complete, solid and uninterrupted Catholic education. In this way strength of will and a fullness of grace are transmitted to the child and it is diepessed, when need arise, to have recourse to prayer, the Sacraments, imitation of Christ and Our Lady, as also to avoid contamination from conversations, books, films, etc. Catholic parents can best help their children in this matter by co-operating with the Church, preaching by example and by word a loyal obedience to Her teaching in all things.
C.M. Try in your local library for the volume of the Catholic Encycloptedia containing the article on Indulgences, If this is not possible, or if the article does not serve your needs, write again, and, if convenient, give your difficulty more fully.
C. M. H.: You will find answers to all yotir questions about indulgences, and much other useful information besides, in the booklet The Little Book of Indulgences, published by the Irish C.T.S., 1-ES
Lower Abbey Street, Dublin, price 211. (plus postage).
E. O'S.: The matter about which you inquire is too far removed from theology for us to be able to answer with any authority. We suggest thai you write to the office of the Eire Ilign Commissioner, 39-7, Regent Street, S.W.1.
Correspondents who expect a private reply must in future send a stamped addressed envelope. Problems of a genu405e/1) personal nature should be addressed to " The Rev. Director," Enquiries, CATHOLIC HERALD, 67, Fleet Street, E.C.-re and these will only be opened by a priest.