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Volume 3, Issue 164

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  • John N. Lupia
    ROMAN CATHOLIC NEWS Volume 3, Issue 164 WEDNESDAY 3 September 2003 Feast of St. Gregory the Great, Pope, Doctor of the Church * * * WEAR THE BROWN SCAPULAR OF
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2003

      Volume 3, Issue 164
      WEDNESDAY 3 September 2003

      Feast of St. Gregory the Great, Pope, Doctor of the Church

      * * *


      * * *

      • Pope Sends Message of Sympathy Over Mosque Attack
      • Publishers Weekly Praises Book on John Paul II
      • Victims of Terrorism and Violence Are in Pope's Special Intentions
      • Holy See Is Authentic Witness of Human Dignity, Says Vatican Official
      • Teens Get Catechisms to Call Their Own
      • In Mongolia, a New Cathedral and Old Roots
      • Claretians Appoint a New Superior General
      • Peace Meeting to Be Held in Aachen
      • Byzantium Exhibition Includes Mount Athos Treasures

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, SEP 1, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father's general prayer intention for the month of September is: "That the countries that are suffering
      because of war, terrorism and violence may find the way of reconciliation, concord and peace."

      His missionary intention is: "That the Christian communities of Central
      Asia, who live among people of other religious traditions, may be committed
      to spreading the good news of the Kingdom through the active testimony of
      their faith."

      * * *

      Pope Sends Message of Sympathy Over Mosque Attack

      VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 2, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II condemned last Friday's attack on the Najaf mosque in Iraq, in which a Muslim religious leader and more than 80 other people died.

      In a telegram sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Pope expressed his sympathy and promised his prayer for those affected by the terrorist act.

      Likewise, he entrusts "the victims to the love and mercy of God, invoking divine consolation for those who suffer," Vatican Radio reported.

      In the message, the Holy Father condemns "all forms of violence and the shedding of blood" and renews his call "to the followers of the religions of the world and persons of good will to reject every kind of aggression."

      The Pope invites all to work for a "new era of peace and justice in which these offenses against human life and dignity will have no place."

      Today in Najaf, thousands of people attended the funeral of Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. Al-Hakim, a distinguished leader of the Shiite majority in Iraq, had favored a cautious cooperation with the occupation forces.

      The U.S.-backed Governing Council of Iraq appointed a Cabinet of 25 ministers on Monday. Al-Hakim's brother Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim is a member of the council.

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, SEP 1, 2003 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in

      - Eight prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India:

      - Archbishop Oswald Gracias of Agra.

      - Bishop Patrick Paul D'Souza of Varanasi.

      - Bishop Patrick Nair of Meerut, accompanied by Coadjutor Bishop Oswald Lewis.

      - Bishop Frederick D'Souza of Jhansi.

      - Bishop Ignatius Menezes of Ajmer and Jaipur.

      - Bishop Joseph Pathalil of Udaipur.

      - Bishop Isidore Fernandes of Allahabad.

      - Bishop Vincenzo Paglia of Terni-Narni-Amelia, with Prof. Andrea
      Riccardi of the Sant'Egidio Community.

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, SEP 1, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

      - Included Msgr. Bryan Chestle in the College of Apostolic Pronotaries "de numero patricipantium".

      - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Onitsha, Nigeria, presented by Archbishop Albert Kanene Obiefuna in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. Coadjutor Bishop Valerian Okeke succeeds him

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, SEP 1, 2003 (VIS) - Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the
      Holy See Press Office, made the following statement this afternoon:

      "At 10:15 this morning, during maintenance work on structures in St. Peter's Square, Constantino Marchionni, 52, fell from mobile scaffolding, about 3.5 meters high, together with a fellow worker.

      "The latter underwent minor contusions after the fall whereas Marchionni had more serious internal injuries and, notwithstanding the immediate intervention of the emergency medical unit and despite all efforts by the Vatican's health service personnel and those at Santo Spirito hospital, Marchionni died shortly afterwards, without regaining consciousness.

      "The Substitute for the Secretariat of State, the secretary general of the Governorate, personnel from the Technical Services Office and the Pontifical Gendarmes, as well as the president of the tribunal of Vatican City State, went immediately to the site of the accident."

      * * *

      Publishers Weekly Praises Book on John Paul II

      WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 2, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Publishers Weekly reports that "John Paul II: A Light for the World" may be "the pick of the crop" when it comes to tributes marking the 25th anniversary of his pontificate.

      The publishing industry bible highlighted the book from Sheed & Ward in its Aug. 11 issue. It was produced in conjunction with the U.S. bishops' conference and includes a forward by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

      "This coffee table book, with memorable full-color images by official Vatican photographers and reflections by many people who have had personal encounters with John Paul may be the pick of the crop," Publishers Weekly said. The bishops' Web site carried a report on the coverage.

      "A Light for the World" has 150-word personal remembrances from several church leaders including Cardinal Edward Egan of New York, Archbishop John Foley of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington.

      The book's pictures include moments from every visit to the United States, even the brief stops to refuel the papal plane in Anchorage and Fairbanks, in Alaska.

      "A Light for the World" will be available through bookstores, on the Web or directly from the publisher, Sheed & Ward. Cost is $35.

      * * *

      Victims of Terrorism and Violence Are in Pope's Special Intentions

      Missionary Intention Is for Christians of Central Asia

      VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 2, 2003 (Zenit.org).- This month John Paul II will pray especially for the victims of terrorism and violence, as well as for the Christian communities of Central Asia.

      Every month, the Pope offers his prayers and sacrifices for a specific intention. The current intention is "That the countries that are suffering because of war, terrorism and violence may find the way of reconciliation, concord and peace."

      The Holy Father also keeps a missionary intention in his prayers. On this occasion, it will be: "That the Christian communities of Central Asia, who live among people of other religious traditions, may be committed to spreading the Good News of the Kingdom through the active testimony of their faith."

      The area comprises Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, with a population of 49 million people, 83% of whom are Muslim.

      Commenting on the Pope's missionary intention, Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of the Mother of God in Moscow, asks, in a message sent to the Fides missionary agency: "As small minorities, what can the Christian communities in Central Asia do to promote the planting and growth of the Kingdom of God?"

      "For a society which has inherited from the atheist regime a whole lot of problems connected with indifferentism and difficult social situations, the example of Christian life is most important," he answers.

      "For those who have never heard the Good News, who have no belief or belong to non-Christian religions, Christians living according to the spirit of the Gospel become living pages and witnesses," he adds.

      * * *

      Holy See Is Authentic Witness of Human Dignity, Says Vatican Official

      Archbishop Martino Lists 4 Areas of Commitment

      BUENOS AIRES, SEPT. 2, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See is not a political force in the ordinary sense of the word, but rather a force of the moral order, says a Vatican aide.

      In the context of his visit to Argentina, Archbishop Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, gave a lecture at the Argentine Catholic University (UCA) on the Holy See's role in the promotion of human rights in the international realm, especially in the United Nations, where he was the Pope's delegate for 16 years.

      Archbishop Martino spoke on the occasion of the International Days whose theme was "The Safeguarding of the Fundamental Rights of the Human Person."

      The event took place to commemorate the 40th anniversary of John XXIII's encyclical "Pacem in Terris." It was organized by departments at UCA and at the Lateran University of Rome.

      The archbishop said that the Holy See is "a force of the moral order," and, it is precisely "moral force, not political force, which confers ability to act in the international scene. Moreover, in addition to political commitment, modern humanity is in extreme need of moral commitment."

      He outlined four areas in which the Holy See is committed, the first of which is the promotion and defense of human rights.

      In this connection, he recalled "the decisive contribution of the Holy See -- the latter the fruit of memorable battles waged in the conferences of Cairo and Beijing -- for recognition, in juridical and political instruments, of the international community, of the right to life from conception, and of the affirmation of the personal dignity of women."

      In Cairo, in 1994, the Holy See had to address a veritable siege on human rights, as preference was being given to "indiscriminate demographic control," Archbishop Martino said.

      He said that experts in the manipulation of statistics did everything possible to deflect attention from the focus of the conference -- population and development -- to "women's reproductive rights." The figure of the traditional family was attacked and denigrated, and pressure was exerted to have an "international right to abortion" proclaimed, he said.

      In order to avoid this situation, the Holy See engaged in a complex negotiation in which it had the "providential support" of the Argentine delegation, the archbishop said. In the end, abortion was specifically excluded as a "means of family planning."

      The same happened in the 4th World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995. But "with the support of a small group of countries, among them Argentina, the Holy See once again was in a position to impede the proclamation of abortion as a human right and to ensure that references to the family and to maternity were included" in the final document, the Vatican aide said.

      The Holy See's second commitment in the international area is the promotion of the right to development, in favor of the neediest countries, Archbishop Martino said.

      "The world today is frightened by a fragile peace and lacking in hope because of broken promises," he said. "Too many people live a life devoid of hope, with few possibilities to build a better future. The family of nations cannot allow one more day to go by without really trying to achieve these objectives, making concrete progress in the eradication of poverty."

      The Holy See's third commitment is the promotion of the right to peace, in the areas of disarmament, the nonproliferation and elimination of weapons of mass destruction. Archbishop Martino lamented: "Nuclear disarmament has not made progress. On the contrary, it has taken disturbing steps backward."

      "There cannot be moral tolerance for any military doctrine which approves nuclear arms," the prelate added. He reiterated "the Holy See's concern about the present phase of stagnation in the disarmament process due to the lack of cooperation of some nuclear powers."

      The peace-making action of the Holy See also calls for "favoring the resolution of conflicts," especially the "forgotten wars," such as those that cover the African continent in blood, he said.

      The fourth commitment embraces human rights and the international order.

      Archbishop Martino stressed that "the Holy See has expressed in a thousand ways its confidence in the value of the community of nations, which is expressed through international relations characterized by reciprocal respect and common solidarity, or through international organizations which constitute, so to speak, the spinal cord of their life and vitality, and in an international order endowed with a world public authority."

      He said that the international community and multilateralism "are points strongly influenced by the political philosophy and daily activity of the Holy See's diplomacy," which "presents itself as a witness of hope that invites the international community to have courage, making itself the spokesman and interpreter, in the international, moral, political and culture plane, of Jesus' invitation to Peter: International community, put out into the deep!"

      At the end of his lecture, Archbishop Martino said that he had often heard that "the Holy See's diplomacy is the best."

      "I don't know what truth there is in this affirmation," he said. "If the Holy See has great merits, the latter are derived not so much from exquisite political or diplomatic abilities, but rather and above all, from its capacity to give public relevance and prophetic visibility to the religious and moral discourse on the destinies of men and women and on their fundamental rights."

      The archbishop said he felt the duty to "render homage to the Holy See, which has been and will continue to be, within the great family of nations, an authentic witness of the dignity of man, and in this, its mission, it will not cease to seek the consensus of nations of good will on the great issues of justice and peace."

      "The Holy See," he said, "can exercise its function of the promotion of man and his fundamental rights, of peace and development, all the more effectively the more it concentrates decidedly on what is proper to it: openness to God, the teaching of a universal fraternity and the promotion of a culture of solidarity.

      "It is in this perspective that the Holy See is determined to carry out its action, today more necessary than ever, sustained by hope against all hope."

      * * *

      Teens Get Catechisms to Call Their Own

      Minnesota Group Has Already Distributed 16,000 Copies

      ST. PAUL, Minnesota, SEPT. 2, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Sixteen thousand teens in the Twin Cities area now own a Catechism of the Catholic Church, thanks to the work of a group of young adults.

      The Corpus Christi Catechism Fund, a nonprofit, all-volunteer lay initiative, has been operating since September 2001, giving catechisms to the 8,000 teens confirmed in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis each year.

      The volunteers attend every confirmation Mass and hand catechisms to the confirmands immediately afterward.

      "This is a way the volunteers can live out their own confirmation vows in service to the Church," said Derik Mantel, who helps organize the catechism fund.

      The fund was founded by a group of alumni from the University of St. Thomas' Catholic Studies program who gathered weekly to pray and talk about how they could respond to John Paul II's call for a new evangelization. The group decided to evangelize local young Catholics by giving them catechisms, to help them grow in knowledge and love of the Church.

      "You cannot love what you do not know," said Stephen Maas, one of the founders of the group. "We believe the catechism is the first step in fostering a deeper love of the Church, especially in the youth -- a generation that is searching for answers."

      The group, which has about 30 members, funds the project through the joint effort of private donors and the archdiocese. Auxiliary Bishop Richard Pates actively advises the project.

      "The Corpus Christi Catechism Fund provides young people an invaluable resource as they develop their own faith and they develop their critical understanding of that faith in the years ahead," he said.

      "We are very grateful to the young adults who have initiated this project," the bishop added. "It is an investment for decades and decades to come in terms of those who will benefit from the development of their faith and love of the Church."

      * * *

      In Mongolia, a New Cathedral and Old Roots

      Catholic Community Springs "From Nothing"

      ULAN BATOR, Mongolia, SEPT. 2, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The young Church of this Asian country now has its own consecrated cathedral.

      On Saturday, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, consecrated the cathedral of Ulan Bator, for a Catholic community that emerged in the post-Communist era only a decade ago.

      On hand at the ceremony was Bishop Wenceslaw Padilla, the first apostolic prefect, who was ordained the previous day by the cardinal. Also attending was Archbishop Giovanni Battista Morandini, the papal nuncio in Mongolia.

      "Eleven years ago you began your journey, literally from nothing, as a community of God," Cardinal Sepe said during the homily of the solemn Mass.

      This did not impede the first three missionaries -- then Father Padilla, Father Robert Gooseens and Father Gilbert Sales -- "from witnessing their faith in Jesus Christ in your midst, people of Mongolia," the cardinal continued.

      "From three missionaries to 45; from a few Catholics to over 150, together with many others who wish to convert; from one community of faithful to three; from one Verbite Center of Assistance to the different works and apostolates to which you are presently committed at the service of the people of God in Mongolia."

      The historic roots of Christianity in Mongolia go back to the 13th and 14th centuries, when the first missionaries arrived.

      In connection with those historical roots, Cardinal Sepe mentioned the great Khan Qubilai, who was particularly interested in Christianity. In fact, he personally requested Pope Clement IV to teach Christianity and science to his people. And Marco Polo served in his court for 17 years.

      "This was possible only because the great Mongol khans … showed a type of wisdom that was rare in the 13th century, namely, tolerance and acceptance of all religions," the cardinal said.

      He said that this wisdom could have been the principle that guided the authors of the new Mongolian Constitution, given that they introduced the "fundamental right to religion and the freedom of religion."

      "And perhaps it was our historical Christian heritage of the past in Mongolia which inspired those responsible for the new democratic Mongolia to establish diplomatic relations with the Vatican," Cardinal Sepe added.

      "While you affirm your historical heritage as a people, remember that what sustains us in our efforts to build our Christian community is faith in God, who is loving and compassionate with us, and faith in the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who gave his life for us, his flock," he said.

      The consecration of the cathedral, dedicated to Sts. Peter and Paul, gave the cardinal the opportunity to highlight these "pillars if the Church of God," to whom, despite their weaknesses, "God entrusted the building and edification of his people, of his flock."

      "Both represent our humanity and our openness to the grace of God," he added. "While we consecrate this church of God, let us consecrate our human condition and ask God to heal us of our weaknesses."

      About 200 faithful make up the Catholic community of Mongolia. Christians in general number 34,000, in a population of 2.7 million inhabitants. Almost 40% of the country professes no religion. Animist cults comprise 31% of the population, Buddhists 22%, Muslims 4.8%.

      * * *

      Claretians Appoint a New Superior General

      Father Josep María Abella Batlle of Spain

      ROME, SEPT. 2, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Claretians have chosen a standout missionary of the Far East as their new superior general.

      Shortly after his appointment, Father Josep María Abella Batlle told ZENIT: "The greatest challenge facing me is how to live 'inter-culturality,' which is very strong in the congregation, and how to serve the missionary plan of the Church in the third millennium."

      Father Abella, 53, was born in Lleida. In the past, he carried out intense evangelizing work especially in the Far East. He arrived in Japan while still a seminarian.

      In recent years, his congregation appointed him general counselor and leader of the missionary activity of 3,000 Claretians spread throughout the world. He has also promoted the congregation's sector of Justice, Peace and the Safeguarding of Creation.

      According to the information service of the 23rd General Chapter, the new superior is "a tall, thin, dynamic, smiling man who speaks with the same facility his native Catalan and Spanish, English, French, Italian, some Portuguese and Japanese."

      The new superior general, chosen on Monday by 76 religious during the general chapter in Rome, will replace Father Aquilino Bocos.

      The Claretians, or Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, were started in the Catalan city of Vic in 1849, by Father Antonio María Claret. He was canonized a saint in 1950.

      The congregation has 17 bishops, 2,033 priests, 257 brothers, 598 professed students and novices, and 145 novices, working in 60 countries, the majority in the Americas.

      * * *

      Peace Meeting to Be Held in Aachen

      ROME, SEPT. 2, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Community of Sant'Egidio presented to John Paul II the plans for its Meeting of Peace 2003 to be held in next week in Aachen, Germany.

      Andrea Riccardi, founder of Sant'Egidio, and Bishop Vincenzo Paglia of Terni, spiritual adviser of the Catholic lay association, presented the plan at an audience Monday with the Pope at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.

      The audience focused on the topic of Europe -- the issue that in Aachen will occupy religious leaders and other participants from more than 50 countries -- and interreligious dialogue for peace, according to a press statement from Sant'Egidio. The three-day meeting in Germany begins Sunday.

      Since 1987, Sant'Egidio has promoted international interreligious meetings. Next week's meeting will be held in collaboration with the Aachen Diocese.

      The Monday audience with the Pope was held on the occasion of the feast of St. Giles -- in Italian, "Sant'Egidio."

      * * *

      Byzantium Exhibition Includes Mount Athos Treasures

      ROME, SEPT. 2, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The splendor of Byzantine spirituality is being exhibited in Rome.

      Paintings on wood, frescoes and icons, kept in the Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens, are on display in Rome until Sunday, at the Capitoline Museums (www.museicapitolini.org).

      Many of the works of art come from the monasteries of Mount Athos, especially some of the icons, jewels and liturgical objects in silk or gold. Mount Athos has some 20 monastic centers that have existed for more than 1,000 years in the theocratic republic situated in a peninsula in northeastern Greece.

      The exhibition brings together masterpieces from the 15th to 18th centuries, namely, works produced after the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks (1453). The icons reflect Ottoman influence, as well as Cretan and Venetian.

      The 54 masterworks highlight the evolution of art from the Ottoman conquest to the establishment of the modern Greek state in 1830.

      Konstantin Yerostokopulos, the ambassador of Greece in Rome, said: "Byzantium is the bridge between the Classical world and the Christian world, between East and West, between the old and new Rome and, therefore, between Greece and Italy."

      * * *


      Chapter Two (continued)

      The fourth and final section of Chapter 2 is entitled: "The Paradox Resolved". In this section Sister Thelma returns to the paradoxat the end of Chapter 1 which she took up at the beginning of Chapter 2: "Anyone who looses their life for my sake shall gain it."

      Sister Thelma creates a synopsis of the parallel Gospel texts in Matthew citing Matthew 16:24-25; and Matthew 10:38-39. The earlier text in Matthew speaks about those who seeking only themselves bring themselves to ruin, whereas those who loose themselves for Christ' sake discover who they really are. This text is paralleled with the later text in Matthew 16. It is in that text that the paradox of loosing one's life is accomplished by seeking it, and gaining one's life is by loosing it for Christs' sake.

      "Thomas Merton personalizes this teaching of Jesus:

      In order to become myself I must cease to be what I always thought I wanted to be, and in order to find myself I must go out of myself, and in order to live I have to die." (24). (Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation (NY, NY, 1972): page 47)

      "To become love"---this is the sum and substance of Jesus' teaching, and our ultimate fulfillment: "What no eye has seen and no ear has heard, what the mind of man cannot visualize; all that God has prepared for those who love him." (1 Cor 2:9).

      Thelma Hall, R.C., Too Deep For Word. Rediscovering Lectio Divina. (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1988). ISBN 0-8091-2959-0

      * * *


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      3. Today's Lectionary Readings Text

      Biblica Online

      * * *




      Monks of Adoration:

      * * *

      5. Polish Rosary Hour by the Conventual Franciscans

      * * *



      Our Father Movie

      * * *


      * * *


      Cause of Mama Gili as Servant of God (Part 1)

      Cause of Mama Gili as Servant of God (Part 2)

      Need a Miracle?

      Dolores Immacolata "Mama" Gili (1892-1985)


      The Mama Gili Guild was established several years ago to gather, collect, and
      publish information on Dolores Immacolata Gili (1892-1985) for an investigation into her cause as a Servant of God, as well as to promote her cause and to perpetuate her cult by directing prayer groups assembled in her honor. It has continuously enjoyed the ecclesiastical approval of Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, and the Most Reverend John Joseph Myers, Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey.

      Call or write today regarding favors granted through the intercession of Dolores Immacolata "Mama" Gili, or, for more information about the cause of
      her investigation for canonization to:

      Rev. Dante DiGirolamo, Director
      Mama Gili Guild
      P. O. Box 455
      Kearny, New Jersey 07032
      Phone (973) 412-1170
      Fax (973) 412-7011

      * * *


      The Benedictine monks of Abbaye Saint-Joseph de Clairval mail a free monthly newsletter to anyone who requests it. Also free of charge are: the tract about the divinity of Jesus Christ; tract about the Truths of the Catholic Religion; scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, with explanatory notice; the promises of the Sacred Heart; the mysteries of the Rosary.

      Sample Newsletter

      Abbey of Saint-Joseph de Clairval


      Phone.: 03 80 96 22 31
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      10. Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ. English Trans. Online

      Thomas a Kempis, De Imitatione Christi. Latin Text Online

      * * *


      When the Eucharistic host is elevated at Mass say:

      "Eternal Father, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you the crucified Body of Your dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in reparation
      for all the sins committed against you and for the conversion and salvation of
      the whole world."

      When the Eucharistic chalice is elevated at Mass say:

      "Eternal Father, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you the precious Blood of Your dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in reparation for all the sins committed against you and for the conversion and salvation of the whole world."

      * * *


      "during this important time, as the eve of the new millennium approaches unity among all Christians of the various confessions will increase until they reach full communion." John Paul II, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 16

      "Keep close to the Mother of God as if you were the child Jesus clinging to her
      robes while walking down a dusty and busy crowded street and you'll always be safe."

      * * *

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