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This room is for discussion for anyone who adheres to the Extraordinary form of the mass and any issues related to the practices of Eastern Rite Catholicism.

Saint Athanasius is counted as one of the four Great Doctors of the Church.
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Saint of the Day

Mar 15th 2014 new

St. Louise de Marillac

Feastday: March 15

Death: 1660

Louise de Marillac was born probably at Ferrieres-en-Brie near Meux, France, on August 12, 1591. She was educated by the Dominican nuns at Poissy. She desired to become a nun but on the advice of her confessor, she married Antony LeGras, an official in the Queen's service, in 1613. After Antony's death in 1625, she met St. Vincent de Paul, who became her spiritual adviser. She devoted the rest of her life to working with him. She helped direct his Ladies of Charity in their work of caring for the sick, the poor, and the neglected. In 1633 she set up a training center, of which she was Directress in her own home, for candidates seeking to help in her work. This was the beginning of the Sisters (or Daughters, as Vincent preferred) of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul (though it was not formally approved until 1655). She took her vows in 1634 and attracted great numbers of candidates. She wrote a rule for the community, and in 1642, Vincent allowed four of the members to take vows. Formal approval placed the community under Vincent and his Congregation of the Missions, with Louise as Superior. She traveled all over France establishing her Sisters in hospitals, orphanages, and other institutions. By the time of her death in Paris on March 15, the Congregation had more than forty houses in France. Since then they have spread all over the world. She was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1934, and was declared Patroness of Social Workers by Pope John XXIII in 1960. Her feast day is March 15th.

Mar 15th 2014 new

St. Abban

Feastday: March 16

Death: 620

Abbot and Irish missionary. An Irish prince, Abban was the son of King Cormac of Leinster. He is listed as the nephew of St. Ibar. Abban founded many churches in the old district of Ui Cennselaigh, in modern County Wexford and Ferns. His main monastery is Magheranoidhe, in Adamstown, Ireland. This monastery's fame is attributed in some records to another Abban, that of New Ross. Abban is also associated with Kill-Abban Abbey in Leinster, serving as abbot there until March 16, 620. He is revered in Adamstown, which was once called Abbanstown.

Mar 17th 2014 new

St. Patrick

Feastday: March 17

Patron of Ireland

Birth: 387

Death: 461

St. Patrick of Ireland is one of the world's most popular saints.

Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 461.

Along with St. Nicholas and St. Valentine, the secular world shares our love of these saints. This is also a day when everyone's Irish.

There are many legends and stories of St. Patrick, but this is his story.

Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britian in charge of the colonies.

As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him.

During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote

"The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same." "I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain."

Patrick's captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britian, where he reunited with his family.

He had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him "We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more."

He began his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained by St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years.

Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He arrived in Ireland March 25, 433, at Slane. One legend says that he met a chieftain of one of the tribes, who tried to kill Patrick. Patrick converted Dichu (the chieftain) after he was unable to move his arm until he became friendly to Patrick.

Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick's message.

Patrick by now had many disciples, among them Beningnus, Auxilius, Iserninus, and Fiaac, (all later canonized as well).

Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461.

He died at Saul, where he had built the first church.

Why a shamrock?

Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, and has been associated with him and the Irish since that time.

In His Footsteps:

Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.

Mar 18th 2014 new

St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Feastday: March 18

Birth: 315

Death: 386

"Make your fold with the sheep; flee from the wolves: depart not from the Church," Cyril admonished catechumens surrounded by heresy. These were prophetic words for Cyril was to be hounded by enemies and heretics for most of his life, and although they could exile him from his diocese he never left his beloved Church.

Cyril's life began a few years before Arianism (the heresy that Jesus was not divine or one in being with the Father) and he lived to see its suppression and condemnation at the end of his life. In between he was the victim of many of the power struggles that took place.

We know little about Cyril's early life. Historians estimate he was born about 315 and that he was brought up in Jerusalem. He speaks about the appearance of the sites of the Nativity and Holy Sepulchre before they were "improved" by human hands as if he were a witness. All we know of his family were that his parents were probably Christians and he seemed to care for them a great deal. He exhorted catechumens to honor parents "for however much we may repay them, yet we can never be to them what they as parents have been to us." We know he also had a sister and a nephew, Gelasius, who became a bishop and a saint.

He speaks as one who belonged to a group called the Solitaries. These were men who lived in their own houses in the cities but practiced a life of complete chastity, ascetism, and service.

After being ordained a deacon and then a priest, his bishop Saint Maximus respected him enough to put him in charge of the instruction of catechumens. We still have these catechetical lectures of Cyril's that were written down by someone in the congregation. When speaking of so many mysteries, Cyril anticipated the question, "But some one will say, If the Divine substance is incomprehensible, why then do you discourse of these things? So then, because I cannot drink up all the river, am I not even to take in moderation what is expedient for me? Because with eyes so constituted as mine I cannot take in all the sun, am I not even to look upon it enough to satisfy my wants? Or again, because I have entered into a great garden, and cannot eat all the supply of fruits, would you have me go away altogether hungry?.. I am attempting now to glorify the Lord, but not to describe him, knowing nevertheless that I shall fall short of glorifying God worthily, yet deeming it a work of piety even to attempt it at all."

When Maximus died, Cyril was consecrated as bishop of Jerusalem. Because he was supported by the Arian bishop of Caesarea, Acacius, the orthodox criticized the appointment and the Arians thought they had a friend. Both factions were wrong, but Cyril wound up in the middle.

When a famine hit Jerusalem, the poor turned to Cyril for help. Cyril, seeing the poor starving to death and having no money, sold some of the goods of the churches. This was something that other saints including Ambrose and Augustine had done and it probably saved many lives. There were rumors, however, that some of the vestments wound up as clothing for actors.

Actually, the initial cause of the falling out between Acacius and Cyril was territory not beliefs. As bishop of Caesarea, Acacia had authority over all the bishops of Palestine. Cyril argued that his authority did not include Jerusalem because Jerusalem was an "apostolic see" -- one of the original sees set up by the apostles. When Cyril did not appear at councils that Acacius called, Acacius accused him of selling church goods to raise money and had him banished.

Cyril stayed in Tarsus while waiting for an appeal. Constantius called a council where the appeal was supposed to take place. The council consisted of orthodox, Arians, and semi-Arian bishops. When Acacius and his faction saw that Cyril and other exiled orthodox bishops were attending, they demanded that the persecuted bishops leave. Acacius walked out when the demand was not met. The other bishops prevailed on Cyril and the others to give in to this point because they didn't want Acacius to have reason to deny the validity of the council. Acacius returned but left again for good when his creed was rejected -- and refused to come back even to give testimony against his enemy Cyril. The result of the council was the Acacius and the other Arian bishops were condemned. There's no final judgment on Cyril's case but it was probably thrown out when Acacius refused to testify and Cyril returned to Jerusalem.

This was not the end of Cyril's troubles because Acacius carried his story to the emperor -- embellishing it with details that it was a gift of the emperor's that was sold to a dancer who died wearing the robe. This brought about a new synod run by Acacius who now had him banished again on the basis of what some bishops of Tarsus had done while Cyril was there.

This exile lasted until Julian became emperor and recalled all exiled bishops, orthodox or Arian. Some said this was to exacerbate tension in the Church and increase his imperial power. So Cyril returned to Jerusalem. When Acacius died, each faction nominated their own replacement for Caesarea. Cyril appointed his nephew Gelasius -- which may seem like nepotism, except that all orthodox sources spoke of Gelasius' holiness. A year later both Cyril and Gelasius were driven out of Palestine again as the new emperor's consul reversed Julian's ruling.

Eleven years later, Cyril was allowed to go back to find a Jerusalem destroyed by heresy and strife. He was never able to put things completely right. He did attend the Council at Constantinople in 381 where the Nicene Creed and orthodoxy triumphed and Arianism was finally condemned. Cyril received justice at the same Council who cleared him of all previous rumors and commended him for fighting "a good fight in various places against the Arians."

Cyril had eight years of peace in Jerusalem before he died in 386, at about seventy years old.

Mar 19th 2014 new

Feast of Joseph, Husband of Mary: Time for Christian Men to Follow His Example


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - I proclaimed this excerpt from the first chapter of Matthews Gospel at Holy Mass on this Feast of Joseph, the Husband of Mary:

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary; of whom Jesus was born, he who is called Christ. Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly.


But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, \"Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins\". When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.


When we hear the word Annunciation, we usually think of the Angel appearing to Mary. However, an angel also appeared to Joseph.

This was Joseph\'s Annunciation

An Angel appeared to Him with a message from the Lord. The word Angel means messenger. Joseph had a specific vocation, a calling. It was that vocation which informed absolutely everything in his life. We each have a specific vocation. When we discover it, or rather, when we learn to submit to it in Love and for Love, our lives are forever changed.

This Was Joseph\'s Fiat

He gave his own YES. He did so not with words but with action. He DID what the Angel commanded. He exercised His freedom by saying Yes to God\'s invitation. His response was his song, his own
Magnificat
.

Christian men are called to learn to say
Yes
in deeds. To live lives which are increasingly given over to God and His Will. When we do, we find everything else for which we long. We also find the source of true joy, Jesus Christ, whom Joseph held in his arms and worked alongside of in the Carpenters shop of Nazareth.

From antiquity, Christians have cherished Joseph as a model of genuine manly virtue.

Since the fourteenth century there has been a specific day set aside in the Roman calendar to honor him. He is viewed as the \"Patron\" of the universal Church, of all husbands and of social justice. He has also been designated as the patron of all workers, this Carpenter who taught the Word Incarnate, the Child Jesus, how to work with wood.

This man was the foster father of the Incarnate Word of God - and he loved Jesus with an exemplary love. This same Jesus who learned to work with wood from the hands of Joseph would, during his 33rd year save the world, through his working with wood, the wood of the Cross.

In an age that has lost its way, given over to the selfish pursuit of illusory pleasure, Joseph should be lifted up as a model, particularly to men who desire to follow Jesus Christ. It is tome for Christian men to follow his example.

In popular language we sometimes use an expression to refer to men who are comfortable \"in their skin\" and content with being men. We say of such a man \"He is a man\'s man\". Well, Joseph is a true
man\'s man
. He was a man of few words, he spoke through his actions, and he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded.

Joseph was a man for others

Though the Scriptures say little about Joseph, even that absence speaks volumes. Why? Because to Joseph, he was not the one who was important, others were. He loved Mary above himself and his behavior was \"just\" as a result of his love.

He was prepared to \"do the right thing\" when she was found to be with child. He could have chosen otherwise. How refreshing this upright manly behavior is in an age where men often cower in the face of difficulty.

Joseph was a man of faith and courage.

Along with loving his betrothed, he loved His God courageously. He had a close, intimate personal relationship with the God of His Fathers. In fact, this \"just\" man was, in a sense, the last Patriarch, completing the lineage.

Through his response of faith, He would receive the great gift promised for all men and women and hold in His arms the One that His fathers had only longed to see.

God\'s messenger, an angel, visited Joseph in a dream. He was ready to receive. He was disposed not only to the encounter but to the invitation it presented to pour himself out in love - and for Love. He heard the message and, without hesitation, did what the Lord commanded!

Joseph\'s \"
Fiat
\", his Yes, his exercise of human freedom to advance God\'s eternal plan is a refreshing example of manly faith and courage in an age of cowardice and rebellion.

Joseph was a humble man.

There was not an ounce of false bravado or \"machismo\" in this servant of God. Named after the great Patriarch who was sold into slavery in Egypt; he bore the name with similar humility.

As the Old Testament Joseph (Genesis 37) embraced his lot, rejecting the temptation to bitterness or \"victim-hood\" and actually came to rule Egypt, actually forgiving the very brothers who had sold him into slavery; so too this son of the Covenant embraced the One who would establish the New Covenant on the altar of Calvary, he put Jesus Christ and His Mother first. In so doing, Joseph is a patron and a model to all men who choose to walk the way of the cross.

Joseph emptied himself in order to be filled with the love and life of God. He gave himself fully to God through accepting his unique and specific vocation as a guardian of the Redeemer.

Blessed John Paul II wrote a beautiful apostolic exhortation reflecting on Joseph entitled
Guardian of the Redeemer. He released it on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary in 1989. He made a profound connection between Mary\'s response to the angel and Joseph\'s response:

There is a strict parallel between the \"annunciation\" in Matthew\'s text and the one in Luke. The divine messenger introduces Joseph to the mystery of Mary\'s motherhood. While remaining a virgin, she who by law is his \"spouse\" has become a mother through the power of the Holy Spirit. And when the Son in Mary\'s womb comes into the world, he must receive the name Jesus. This was a name known among the Israelites and sometimes given to their sons. In this case, however, it is the Son who, in accordance with the divine promise, will bring to perfect fulfillment the meaning of the name Jesus-Yehos ua\' - which means \"God saves.\"


Joseph is visited by the messenger as \"Mary\'s spouse,\" as the one who in due time must give this name to the Son to be born of the Virgin of Nazareth who is married to him. It is to Joseph, then, that the messenger turns, entrusting to him the responsibilities of an earthly father with regard to Mary\'s Son.

\"When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife\" (cf. Mt 1:24). He took her in all the mystery of her motherhood. He took her together with the Son who had come into the world by the power of the Holy Spirit. In this way he showed a readiness of will like Mary\'s with regard to what God asked of him through the angel.


Joseph NAMED Jesus

What an honor. What a relationship. In the sacred scriptures, name connoted and conferred an extraordinary relationship. In fact, he was referred to as the Carpenters son. Blessed John Paul spoke of Josephs\' Way in that same exhortation:

I
n the course of that pilgrimage of faith which was his life, Joseph, like Mary, remained faithful to God\'s call until the end. While Mary\'s life was the bringing to fullness of that fiat first spoken at the Annunciation, at the moment of Joseph\'s own \"annunciation\" he said nothing; instead he simply \"did as the angel of the Lord commanded him\" (Mt 1:24).


And this first \"doing\" became the beginning of \"Joseph\'s way.\" The Gospels do not record any word ever spoken by Joseph along that way. But the silence of Joseph has its own special eloquence, for thanks to that silence we can understand the truth of the Gospel\'s judgment that he was \"a just man\" (Mt 1:19).

The child Jesus, God in the flesh, was given to Joseph to name, to love and to raise - as a father raises a son. A Carpenter, Joseph taught this child how to work with wood. That was, after all, what he had to give. He gave everything he had to the One whom he called Lord, son and savior.

During what are often called the \"hidden years\" because we have little in the Gospel text about them, Jesus was with Joseph and Joseph was with Jesus. Joseph uniquely participated in the mystery of Gods plan of redemption through simply being the man he was called to be. How challenging his witness is in an age of narcissism and inordinate self-love.

For over two millennium, the redemptive mission of Jesus has continued through His Body on earth, His Church. We are members of that Church. He has entrusted His work to all men and women who accept the invitation to empty themselves in order to be filled with the life and love of God.

We are invited to continue His redemptive mission for the world. No matter what our state in life or specific vocation, we are invited to join our
Yes
, to Mary, Joseph and the countless others who have walked this way before us.

Through the Fountain of living water called Baptism, he invites each one of us into His new family, the Body of His Son, the Church. He still gives His message and His mission to men who, like Joseph, cultivate ears to hear and then choose to exercise authentic manly virtue and act out of courage.

He still invites men to turn the ordinary into extraordinary through cooperation and participation in God\'s plan. He is looking for a few good men like Joseph who will work in the workshop of the world that he created in order to recreate it anew in His Son.

In this age with few heroes, men should rediscover this true hero, this
man\'s man
named Joseph. Then, we need to follow his example by courageously, humbly and faithfully loving Jesus Christ. We need to learn to give our \"Yes\" to the God whose love always invites participation.

Joseph is our teacher and shows us the way to love and follow Jesus Christ. he shows us how to be faithful husbands, fathers and servants of the Lord. Joseph is a true
man\'s man
calling all men to follow Jesus.

We Need Courageous men in this age to learn Joseph\'s Way. Let us decide this day to be among their number. St. Joseph, pray for us.

Mar 19th 2014 new

Bl. John of Parma

Feastday: March 20

John Buralli, the seventh minister general of the Franciscans, was born at Parma in the year 1209, and he was already teaching logic there when at the age of twenty-five, he joined the Franciscans. He was sent to Paris to study and, after he had been ordained, to teach and preach in Bologna, Naples and Rome. He preached so well that crowds of people came to hear his sermons, even very important persons flocked to hear him. In the year 1247, John was chosen Minister General of the Order of Franciscans. He had a very difficult task because the members of his community were not living up to their duties, due to the poor leadership of Brother Elias. Brother Salimbene, a fellow townsman who worked closely with John, kept an accurate record of Johns activities. From this record, we learn that John was strong and robust, so that he was always kind and pleasant no matter how tired he was. He was the first among the Ministers General to visit the whole Order, and he traveled always on foot. He was so humble that when he visited the different houses of the Order, he would often help the Brother wash vegetables in the kitchen. He loved silence so that he could think of God and he never spoke an idle word. When he began visiting the various houses of his Order, he went to England first. When King Henry III heard that John came to see him, the King went out to meet him and embraced the humble Friar. When John was in France, he was visited by St. Louis IX who, on the eve of his departure for the Crusades, came to ask John's prayers and blessing on his journey. The next place John visited was Burgundy and Provence. At Arles, a friar from Parma, John of Ollis, came to ask a favor. He asked John if he and Brother Salimbene could be allowed to preach. John, however, did not want to make favorites of his Brothers. He said, "even if you were my blood brothers, I would not give you that permission without an examination." John of Ollis then said, "Then if we must be examined, will you call on Brother Hugh to examine us?" Hugh, the former provincial was in the house, but since he was a friend of John of Ollis and Salimbene, he would not allow it. Instead, he called the lecturer and tutor of the house. Brother Salimbene passed the test, but John of Ollis was sent back to take more studies. Trouble broke out in Paris where John had sent St. Bonaventure who was one of the greatest scholars of the Friars Minor. Blessed John went to Paris and was so humble and persuasive that the University Doctor who had caused the trouble, could only reply, "Blessed are you, and blessed are your words". Then John went back to his work at restoring discipline to his Order. Measures were taken to make sure the Friars obeyed the Rules of the Order. In spite of all his efforts, Blessed John was bitterly opposed. He became convinced that he was not capable of carrying out the reforms that he felt was necessary. So he resigned his office and nominated St. Bonaventure as his successor. John retired to the hermitage of Greccio, the place where St. Francis had prepared the first Christmas crib. He spent the last thirty years of his life there in retirement. He died on March 19, 1289 and many miracles were soon reported at his tomb. His feast day is March 20th.

Mar 20th 2014 new
St. Enda
Feastday: March 21

Legend has him an Irishman noted for his military feats who was convinced by his sister St. Fanchea to renounce his warring activities and marry. When he found his fiancee dead, he decided to become a monk and went on pilgrimage to Rome, where he was ordained. He returned to Ireland, built churches at Drogheda, and then secured from his brother-in-law King Oengus of Munster the island of Aran, where he built the monastery of Killeaney, from which ten other foundations on the island developed. With St. Finnian of Clonard, Enda is considered the founder on monasticism in Ireland. His feast day is March 21.

Mar 22nd 2014 new

St. Lea

Feastday: March 22

A letter which St. Jerome wrote to St. Marcella provides the only information we have about St. Lea, a devout fourth century widow. Upon the death of her husband, she retired to a Roman monastery and ultimately became its Superior. Since his correspondence was acquainted with the details of St. Lea's life, St. Jerome omitted these in his letter. He concentrated instead on the fate of St. Lea in comparison with that of a consul who had recently died. "Who will praise the blessed Lea as she deserves? She renounced painting her face and adorning her head with shining pearls. She exchanged her rich attire for sackcloth, and ceased to command others in order to obey all. She dwelt in a corner with a few bits of furniture; she spent her nights in prayer, and instructed her companions through her example rather than through protests and speeches. And she looked forward to her arrival in heaven in order to receive her recompense for the virtues which she practiced on earth. "So it is that thence forth she enjoyed perfect happiness. From Abraham's bosom, where she resides with Lazarus, she sees our consul who was once decked out in purple, now vested in a shameful robe, vainly begging for a drop of water to quench his thirst. Although he went up to the capital to the plaudits of the people, and his death occasioned widespread grief, it is futile for the wife to assert that he has gone to heaven and possesses a great mansion there. The fact is that he is plunged into the darkness outside, whereas Lea who was willing to be considered a fool on earth, has been received into the house of the Father, at the wedding feast of the Lamb. "Hence, I tearfully beg you to refrain from seeking the favors of the world and to renounce all that is carnal. It is impossible to follow both the world and Jesus. Let us live a life of renunciation, for our bodies will soon be dust and nothing else will last any longer." Her feast day is March 22.

Mar 23rd 2014 new

St. Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo

Feastday: March 23

Patron of Native rights; Latin American bishops; Peru

Birth: 1538

Death: 1606

Bishop and defender of the rights of the native Indians in Peru, Born in Mayorga, Spain, he studied law and became a lawyer and then professor at Salamanca, receiving appointment-despite being a layman-as chief judge of the court of Inquisition at Granada under King Philip II of Spain. The king subsequently appointed him in 1580 to the post of archbishop of Lima, Peru. After receiving ordination and then consecration, he arrived in Peru in 1581 and soon demonstrated a deep zeal to reform the archdiocese and a determination to do all in his power to aid the poor and defend the rights of the Indians who were then suffering severely under Spanish occupation. He founded schools, churches, hospitals, and the first seminary in the New World. To assist his pastoral work among the Indians, he also mastered several Indian dialects. He was canonized in 1726.

Mar 24th 2014 new

St. Aldemar

Feastday: March 24

Death: 1080

Abbot and miracle worker, called "the Wise." Born in Capua, Italy, he became a monk in Monte Cassino and was called to the attention of a Princess Aloara of the region. When she built a new convent in Capua, Alder became the director of the religious in the established house. He performed many miracles in this capacity. Aldemar was reassigned by his abbot to Monte Cassino, a move that angered the princess. As a result, Aldemar went to Boiana, Italy, where a companion involved in the dispute tried to kill him. Aldemar fled into the region of Bocchignano, Abruzzi, where he founded several more religious houses.

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