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The Mountain in the Oldest City in the World

When I opened our front door today, what I saw was mountains.  Where I live, we are surrounded by mountains.   When you look right, there are mountains. When you look left, there are mountains. I never thought mountains in the winter could be so beautiful. The shades of gray and white turn into almost lavender, and the trees look like leaves upon a bushy hill. In my younger days, I had my fill of mountains but if there is one mountain I would’ve wanted to climb, it is found in the oldest city in the world. This is the mountain found in Jericho.   It is not a pretty sight as it is mostly ground with rock surfaces but it surprisingly has a water source.   On the mountain, there are centuries-old monasteries and a chapel built out of the rock, ravaged by wars.  There is an ancient, sacred seat that was where Jesus sat during his time of temptation ( Luke 4:1-13) Many places in Israel have churches over sacred spots where Jesus walked, but on this mountain, I fancied myself touching a tree

Saint John Roberts

Saint John Roberts

England in the 16th century was a scary place to be a Catholic.  To be one was found to be an act of treason punishable by death.


It was during this time that John Roberts lived.  He was born in Northern Wales and came from a royal line of Welsh princes.  He was raised to believe in Protestantism but when he was in his early 20's, he traveled to France and converted to Roman Catholicism.  


A year after his conversion, he entered religious life with the Benedictines in Spain and was ordained when he was 23 years old.  


He believed in his heart that he was called to minister to the remnant of Catholics in England.  So, he journeyed to England where, after a year of being on mission, he was arrested.  Afterward, he was exiled.


The following year, he returned to England and served the victims of the plague in 1604.  He was arrested and then banished once again.  He repeatedly returned to England and was arrested and exiled.  At times he was able to escape and another time he was pardoned.


Finally, while celebrating Holy Mass on December 2, 1610, he was arrested, convicted, and executed for the crime of being a priest.  He was martyred with Blessed Thomas Somers and is known as one of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales.


Today, December 10th is his feast day.  Saint John Roberts, please pray for us!

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