Good Friday 3 April AD 33 – Eclipses as Christ died on the Cross

This is definitely worth reposting.

The fellow who made the video about the Star of Bethlehem (a compelling argument, I might add), also did some research about what happened in the heavens on Good Friday.

Let’s break it down.

Passover begins on the 14th day of the Jewish lunar month of Nisan. Moreover, Passover begins at twilight, dividing 14 Nisan and 15 Nissan. The Gospels say the Lord was crucified on Preparation Day, a Friday.  14 Nisan 14 fell on a Friday Preparation Day, twice: 7 April AD 30 and 3 April AD 33.  Daniel in 444 BC prophesied (Daniel 9:21–26) that the Anointed one would be cut off in 476 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem: AD 33.

The Bible records that, at the time of the crucifixion and death of the Lord, there were signs, including a “blood moon” or lunar eclipse.

Only one Passover lunar eclipse was visible from Jerusalem while Pilate was in office. It occurred on 3 April 33.

On 3 April the Moon rose already in eclipse.  It rose the color of blood.  That means that the eclipse began before it rose, in the constellation of the Virgin (at the time of Christ’s birth there was a New Moon, in the constellation of the Virgin).

The eclipse started at 3 pm when Christ was breathing His last.

But remember that a lunar eclipse is a syzygy!

If there is an eclipse in one direction there is an eclipse in the other direction too.

If you were standing on the Moon during that syzygy of 3 April 33, you would see a total eclipse of the Sun.

The blotted Sun would be in the heart of the constellation of the Ram (cf. “the Lamb who was slain”).

You can try this out for yourselves.  Go to the online astronomy aid Starry Night.  HERE

Move your location to Jerusalem and then plug in the time of about 7 pm and date 3 April 33 and adjust your view to ESE.  You will see the Moon has just risen and there is a label for your Earth’s shadow.  The Moon had risen at about 6:30 pm in the totality of the eclipse. HERE



With the daylight turned off, and the horizon removed, and then looking at an angle down through the Earth below the horizon, at 3 pm, you see the Moon and Earth’s shadow converging in Virgo.


Then you can switch to the view from the Moon!

You must adjust your view a little and turn yourself right with a few clicks.  But you will find it.  In the screenshot, below, you can see where Earth and Sun are in Aries. Since the Earth would be larger in the Moon’s sky than in this screenshot, the Sun would be in total eclipse.  Adjust for UTC + 3 hours to the right time in Jerusalem from 1500 to 1800. HERE



In read around the question a little more, I find that, using different date calculators, there are some problems of the day of the week.  Also, there are arguments for dating the Crucifixion to 1 April 33.  If that is the case, then the phenomena described above occur on Easter Sunday.  Much hinges on which calendar the Lord and His disciples were using for their own Passover meal, if the last Supper was a Passover meal (Joseph Ratzinger argued that it was a related sacrificial meal but not a seder.)

Definitive?  Not quite.  But it is not to be discounted that God, from all Eternity knowing exactly what would happen, set the heaven’s in motion in so precise a way that its signs would help us to understand the mysteries taking place, which were in other ways foreshadowed.   In the sacraments (a term interchangable with “mystery” in many contexts), visible signs help us to understand that insensible graces and transformations are taking place.  If in the signs of the sacraments, why not too signs in the heavens?

Posted in Classic Posts, Just Too Cool, Linking Back | Tagged , | 12 Comments

The Banner of the Five Wounds

Fr. Hunwicke has brought us the news that the mighty Banner of the Five Wounds – beloved of Catholics and hated by their Protestant persecutors – again flies free.  He posted that the Catholic chaplaincy in Cardiff has flown the beautiful flag.  HERE  Also, the Chaplaincy’s Facebook page displays a photo.  HERE

five wounds flag

I want one!

¡Hagan lío!

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool | Tagged , | 6 Comments

LENTCAzT 2017 46 – Holy Saturday: The Paschal Candle


Today is Holy Saturday.


There is no Mass during the day, so there is no Roman Station for the day.  For the Vigil of Easter the Station is St John Lateran.

Go to church!  Participate in the holy rites of the most sacred moment in the entire liturgical year.

We are our rites.

Today, spectacular chant for Good Friday.


Posted in Benedict XVI, LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Fascinating exchanges over the meaning of ‘Amoris laetitia’ – Is some clarity emerging?

square_cricleIf you haven’t been following this, you might tune in.

Pope Francis’ document Amoris laetitia has sparked sharp divisions and debates.  The sides have drawn up pretty much into two camps… well… three if you count the uninformed, which is pretty large.

For the 1st anniversary of Amoris, Washington DC’s Archbishop Card. Wuerl said:

He notes that the pastoral guidance of Amoris Laetitia, found in chapter 8, has been controversial, but explains why there is no cause for alarm:

“The hermeneutic required for a fruitful appropriation of the document’s teaching on this point is based on the understanding that none of the teaching of the Church has been changed: This includes the doctrine on the indissolubility of marriage, the directives of the Code of Canon Law, and also the role of individual conscience in the determination of personal culpability…..

“The exhortation does not create some sort of internal forum process in which a marriage can be annulled, or in which the objective moral order can be changed…. Instead, the exhortation places greater emphasis on the role of the individual conscience in appropriating those moral norms in the person’s actual circumstances.”

Fr Raymond de Souza then made the sound point at the ever iffy Crux that the bishops of Malta, in their guidelines for applying Chapter 8 issued a while back (aka “The Maltese Fiasco”), the bishops of Germany and curial Cardinal Coccopalmerio think that something has changed.  Whereas Card. Wuerl tries to uphold John Paul II’s teaching in Familiaris consortio, the others say Amoris revises it.

So, in simple terms within this complicated debate, there are a couple camps.  One camp holds that doctrine and discipline haven’t changed, and the other holds that it has.  De Souza  rightly concludes that they can’t both be right.

Then, again at iffy Crux  – and this is another example of why Crux is iffy – the former editor of the ultra-liberal Pill (aka The Tablet), Austen Ivereigh, and now an editor for Crux – wrote a condescending rebuttal of Fr. de Souza stating:

The hermeneutic of interpretation of Pope Francis’s document on the joy of love, says Wuerl, is that the Church’s teaching on marriage has not changed. Questioning that idea, de Souza responds that Wuerl can only be right if the German and Maltese bishops are wrong.

This is a classic maneuver of those whom the cardinal accurately describes as “challenging the integrity” of Amoris. De Souza says he hopes Wuerl is right, that “nothing has changed”; but if it hasn’t, then how can the Maltese bishops say “something has changed?”

But Wuerl never says nothing has changed. He says church teaching and laws on marriage haven’t changed.

Something has changed, not in church law or doctrine, but in moral theology and the pastoral application of sacramental discipline.

This shouldn’t be necessary to say, but for the record, Amoris Laetitia throughout its nine chapters upholds, promotes and passionately seeks to restore lifelong, faithful, stable, indissoluble unions.

In response to Ivereigh’s patronizing response to de Souza comes the deft canonist Ed Peters.

Peters published simultaneously at the Catholic World Report and his own blog In The Light Of The Law a post which reveals the fatal flaw in Ivereigh’s snooty piece.  Peters writes (with my emphases and comments):

Sever ‘canon law’ from ‘pastoral pratice’ and lots of things make sense

I am tempted to address at length Austen Ivereigh’s commentary onFr. Raymond de Souza’s observations on Cdl. Wuerl’s statementon Francis’ document Amoris laetitia, but at a certain point the law of diminishing returns sets leaving such an exercise tedious.

So let me just say: Ivereigh is free to argue that Amoris does not undermine Church teaching on sin, but he needs to respond to those who disagree with his claim with something more than paternalistic tsk-tsk’ing [Peters also noted Ivereigh’s condescension] and, before anything else, he needs to face the simple fact that Wuerl can’t be right (as I think he is, if narrowly read) and the bishops of Malta also be right (as I think they certainly are not)—which is de Souza’s main point.

The reason Ivereigh misses de Souza’s point is, I suspect, that, deep down, Ivereigh thinks that “canon law” and ‘approved pastoral practice’ are two fundamentally different things. [This error has infected a great many people today, churchmen, newsies, etc.  It is dangerous.] Thus Ivereigh could logically hold that canon law (including the barring of divorced-and-remarried Catholics from holy Communion) has remained the same, while at the same time holding that pastors may admit such persons to holy Communion under conditions other than those already recognized by the Church (namely, separation of abodes, or a commitment to live as brother-sister where the irregular marriage is not known). Ivereigh would be right, if canon law has little or nothing to do with what pastors should really do.

At some point I hope that Ivereigh et al will sit down, look at the text of Canon 915 and the numerous ecclesial values behind it, and recognize, among other things, that degrees of personal culpability (which Ivereigh and others go on and on and on about, as if that were the central insight his adversaries lack) have nothing to do with the operation of the objectively oriented Canon 915, the main law that controls pastoral practice in this area—whereupon they will do one of two things: (1) accept that tradition and promote it, or (2) acknowledge that tradition and honestly call for changing it.  [!] At which point all sides would be talking about the same, and the dispositive, issue.

What I fear is that, instead, Ivereigh et al, ignoring the connection that must, and usually does, exist between law and practice, will simply keep on repeating that canon law has not changed but good pastoral practice has. Which is a huge waste of time.

Peters got this exactly right.

I am reminded of the exchange in Aristophanes The Birds between Meton and Pisthetaerus.

Let’s be honest about what Amoris says and doesn’t say without verbose fan-dances which attempt to square the circle.

The ongoing debate about Amoris Ch. 8 reveals a possible approach of Pope Francis, who, so far at least, has declined to offer any clarifications.  He has not, for example, responded to the Five Dubia of the Four Cardinals.

As Tracy Rowand points out in her terrific new book Catholic Theology (HERE), …

If Pope Francis has sympathy for any particular approach to Catholic theology, it is that of ‘People’s Theology’. One of the most extensive articles on this subject is Juan Carlos Scannone’s ‘El papa Francisco y la teologia del pueblo’ published in the journal Razón y Fe. In this paper Scannone claims that not only is Pope Francis a practitioner of ‘People’s Theology’ but also that Francis extracted his favourite four principles – time is greater than space, unity prevails over conflict, reality is more important than ideas, and the whole is greater than the parts – from a letter of the nineteenth-century Argentinian dictator, Juan Manuel de Rosas (1793– 1877) sent to another Argentinian caudillo, Facundo Quiroga (1788– 1835), in 1834. These four principles, which are said to govern the decision-making processes of Pope Francis, have their own section in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium and references to one or other of them can be found scattered throughout his other papal documents. Pope Francis calls them principles for ‘building a people’.

A common thread running through each of these principles is the tendency to give priority to praxis over theory. [NOTA BENE…] There is also a sense that conflict in itself is not a bad thing, that ‘unity will prevail’ somehow and that time will remove at least some of the protagonists in any conflict. The underlying metaphysics is quite strongly Hegelian, and the approach to praxis itself resembles what Lamb classified as ‘cultural-historical’ activity and is associated primarily with Luther and Kant rather than Marx. (Kindle Locations 4226-4252)

The ongoing conflicts between the camps which have sharply divided over Amoris laetitia may reveal a kind of “Hegelian” approach to doing theology favored by the Holy Father: let the positions clash and, over time, things will settle down and there will have emerged a new approach, changes in doctrine, revised laws, etc.

In the meantime, Ed Peters got it right and Ivereigh got it wrong.  De Souza is right to point out that both Card. Wuerl (in what De Souza cites) and the bishops of German and Malta, etc., can’t both be right about Amoris.

Lastly, I renewed my serious questions about why the Knights of Columbus would bankroll Crux if this is what Crux is determined to produce. This is the second time that Crux – with the Knights’ money – has published something troubling by Ivereigh, whom Crux employees an editor.

Perhaps it is time for Knights to think about shedding their KC insurance.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Canon Law, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged , , , , , , | 34 Comments

LENTCAzT 2017 45 – Good Friday: The Water and the Blood

17_02_28_LENTCAzT_2017Today is Good Friday.

The Roman Station is Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.

Examine your consciences, please, and….


Today, spectacular chant for Good Friday.


Posted in LENTCAzT, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments


It is customary on Holy Thursday, after the jubilant Gloria introduction, to stop ringing bells in church during the Triduum and, instead, use some kind of clacking or ratchet noisemaker called a crotalus in Latin.  More on those HERE.

Here’s a poll.  At your parish, for your Holy Thursday Mass, what did they use?  Choose your best answer and, if you are registered to comment, give us a description.  You don’t have to be registered to vote.

At 2017 Holy Thursday Mass they...

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Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged , , | 31 Comments

ASK FATHER: About delegation and the proper form of SSPX marriages

12_07_10_marriage_01From a reader…

I recently read your post regarding the recently-announced changes to the validity of marriages witnessed by SSPX priests, and I am confused. How does this change anything? Doesn’t Canon 1108 already give bishops and pastors the power to delegate ANY priest or deacon to assist at a marriage in order for that marriage to have proper form?
If this is the case, a bishop or priest only has to delegate an SSPX priest to witness a particular marriage for that marriage to have proper form according to canon 1108, correct?


Canon 1108 gives the Ordinary or the pastor the authority to delegate a priest or deacon to officiate at a wedding within the scope of their jurisdiction, however, that priest or deacon thus delegated must be capable of doing so.

Priests of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X have been ordained illicitly (without dimissorial letters from an Ordinary capable of issuing them). They are therefore ipso facto suspended from exercising that order (canon 1383).  Pope Benedict reaffirmed, when he lifted the excommunications of the bishops of the SSPX, that “the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church.”

Hence, in order to permit the priests of the Society licitly to officiate at weddings, the recent action of His Holiness, Pope Francis, was necessary. It was a helpful step towards the (God-willing) full reincorporation of the Society and its many good works into full and unimpaired communion with the rest of the Church.

The moderation queue is ON.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Canon Law, One Man & One Woman, SSPX | Tagged , , , , , | 23 Comments

ASK FATHER: I’m 80 and I can’t kneel for Communion at a Traditional Mass

The other day Bp. Morlino told the priests of the Diocese of Madison that they should encourage their congregations to kneel to receive Holy Communion on the tongue.

This is a wonderful development which will make a great difference in parishes where it is applied.

altar communion railToday I received from a reader…


As a young man I knelt at the communion rail to receive Jesus on my tongue. Now being 80 with knee operations, how would I present myself for Communion at a Latin Mass, knowing that I would not be able to get back up? Thank you Father

Commonsense must be applied here.

If you cannot kneel physically, without real problems, then don’t kneel physically.  Make a reverent bow and stand.

Perhaps you might tell the Lord on your way forward, “I’d kneel if I could … my spirit is willing, but my knees are weak.” and then, if you can muster such a thing, kneel in your heart.

And do receive directly on the tongue.

At the same time, it is important to be supportive of everyone else who kneels and genuflects.  Don’t just say, “Well, I can’t!” and leave it at that.  You should say, “I can’t but I sure wish that I could!  I’m glad that you can.  Kneel a lot while you are able!”

We must bring back postures of humility in worship in order to recover humility in worship.

Finally, the way you worded this suggests to me that you might not go to the traditional for of Mass because you can’t kneel.  Don’t let difficulties with kneeling or genuflecting keep you away.   Nobody will think twice about an 80 year old standing to receive Communion.  Now, if you were 20 and clearly good shape , you might get a couple glances.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , | 12 Comments

LIVE VIDEO – Holy Thursday Mass at Ss. Trinita dei Pellegrini in ROME (FSSP)

Live stream NOW of Holy Thursday Mass at Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini in ROME


UPDATE: They are singing Tenebrae for Good Friday.


Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 1 Comment

Good Friday Reminder: Fasting, Abstaining, and You

Tomorrow is Good Friday. Let’s review our obligations before the day arrives so that we aren’t taken by surprise.

Two days of the year we modern Latin Church Catholics are asked both to fast and to abstain from meat.

According to the 1983 Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church, Latin Church Catholics are bound to observe fasting and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Here are some details. I have posted them before, and I am sure you know them already, but they are good to review.

FASTING: Catholics who are 18 year old and up, until their 59th birthday (when you begin your 60th year), are bound to fast (1 full meal and perhaps some food at a couple points during the day, call it 2 “snacks”, according to local custom or law – two snacks that don’t add up to a full meal) on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. There is no scientific formula for this. Figure it out.

ABSTINENCE: Catholics who are 14 years old and older are abound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and on all Fridays of Lent… and Good Friday in the Triduum.

In general, when you have a medical condition of some kind, or you are pregnant, etc., these requirements can be relaxed.

For Eastern Catholics there are differences concerning dates and practices. Our Eastern friends can fill us Latins in.

You would do well to include works of mercy, both spiritual and corporal.

I also recommend making a good confession. Let me put that another way:


“But Father! But Father!”, some of you are saying anxiously, “What about my Mystic Monk Coffee? I can drink my Mystic Monk Coffee, can’t I? Can’t I?”

You can, of course, with and as part of your full meal and two “snacks”(portions that wouldn’t make a full meal) . No question there.

How about in between?

The old axiom, for the Lenten fast, is “Liquidum non frangit ieiuniumliquid does not break the fast”, provided you are drinking for the sake of thirst, rather than for eating. Common sense suggests that chocolate banana shakes or “smoothies”, etc., are not permissible, even though they are pretty much liquid in form. They are not what you would drink because you are thirsty, as you might more commonly do with water, coffee, tea, wine in some cases, lemonade, even some of these sports drinks such as “Gatorade”, etc.

Again, common sense applies, so figure it out.

Drinks such as coffee and tea do not break the Lenten fast even if they have a little milk added, or a bit of sugar, or fruit juice, which in the case of tea might be lemon.

Coffee would break the Eucharistic fast (one hour before Communion), since – pace fallentes – coffee is no longer water, but it does not break the Lenten fast on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday.

You will be happy to know that chewing tobacco does not break the fast (unless you eat the quid, I guess), nor does using mouthwash (gargarisatio in one manual I checked) or brushing your teeth (pulverisatio – because tooth powder was in use back in the day).

If you want to drink your coffee and tea with true merit I suggest drinking it from one of my coffee mugs. I’d like to offer an indulgence for doing so, but that’s above my pay grade.

There’s always the Liquidum non frangit ieiunium mug.



Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Canon Law, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

LENTCAzT 2017 44 – Holy Thursday: The great ministry of great mystery

17_02_28_LENTCAzT_2017Today is Holy Thursday of Holy Week.  Today we celebrated how Our Lord established the Sacrament of the Eucharist and, inseparably from the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Holy Orders and the Holy Priesthood.

The Roman Station is St. John Lateran.

Examine your consciences, please, and….


Music today is from Liturgy for Holy Week by the Choeur Gregorien De Paris.  Some of the best recorded Gregorian chant I have ever heard. Also today you hear from the beautiful Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, whose special apostolate is to pray for priests and bishops. US HERE – UK HERE – Easter is How about music for Easter?

I was asked by a reader some time ago for the lyrics:

At God’s word: “Behold thy son”
Had new motherhood begun
Caught in the love of Three-in-One:
O Queen of Priests and Mother.

Unto His will thine did bow
And broach’d love thenceforth allow
With singing heart and silent vow:
O valiant Maid and Mother.

Pure Heart! Hide thy priests therein,
Thieve back hearts that bleed in sin
And vanquish’d souls in solace win:
Fair Virgin Spouse and Mother.

With thy grace their hearts endow
And steel them in courage now
To love Love as thou knowest how:
O Queen of Priests and Mother.



Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is the SSPX in “schism”?

Some people in the media, especially liberals, when the mention the SSPX, bray that they are “schismatic”.   No matter how many times this is clarified, they bray that the SSPX is “schismatic”.


When I was at the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei“, we knew the situation. It hasn’t changed.  Now I see that at the end of March the former President of the PCED, His Eminence Darío Card. Castrillón Hoyos told Rome Reports about the situation of the SSPX:

“We always agreed on one thing: they never entered down the path of heresy. They had moments when they were away, but technically they never made any complete schism or heresy. For example, they did not create a separate jurisdiction, because to create a jurisdiction outside the jurisdiction of the Church, that means you want to separate.” [NB: The SSPXers don’t have any jurisdiction to (for example) establish parishes, witness marriages, grant dimissorial letters for ordinations, give dispensations, give faculties to priests, etc.]



Within the last couple years progress has been made.  Pope Francis, in a round about way, granted them faculties validly to absolve sins in regular confessions.  He has more recently taken steps to remove problems with marriages witnessed in their chapels.  This is all very positive.

I sincerely look forward to the moment when all these issues are resolved in clear, canonically unambiguous, manifest, undisputable unity.  The SSPX has a great deal to offer.


Posted in SSPX | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

NRA v Hell’s Bible

This is great!  Thanks to the folks at the NRA for this great way to start the day.

Let’s make popcorn and watch the snowflakes freak out.

Dana Loesch: We’re Coming For You New York Times


Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Going Ballistic, Green Inkers, Liberals | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

LENTCAzT 2017 43 – Spy Wednesday of Holy Week: Final observation before Triduum

17_02_28_LENTCAzT_2017Today is Spy Wednesday of Holy Week.

The Roman Station is St. Mary Major.

Examine your consciences, please, and….


Today you will hear something from Lent at Ephesus by the wonderful Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Missouri.  UK dwellers can get it HERE.

Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

ASK FATHER: “Beer?” “No. Beir!” “Beer?” “BIER! BIER!”

Every one please mark your calendars: 9 September is International Buy A Priest A Beer Day.   Okay?  Got it?

From a reader…


Bier Plans

Not beer plans, although completing this project may take a certain amount of beer also.

I have been charged with building a bier on which to transport a statue of our Lady of Fatima during a rosary procession to be held on October 15th.

First I have searched the web and have not been able to find any plans or really any close up photos of one. They are few and far between in our N.O. churches as any external sign of Catholicism has been mostly removed, so I don’t even know where to find one to view in person.

If you or any of your readers could provide some examples it would be much appreciated.

I know a platform with four poles does not seem complicated thing, however how to attach the statue is important to me, and safely transporting the Blessed Virgin Mary carries a bit of stress and a lot of responsibility. I don’t want to mess it up.

Great!   I am all for processions.  We need more processions.  As a matter of fact, we need to revive all kinds of our beautiful devotions which don’t require Holy Mass: everyone can participate in the same ways and some don’t risk profanation of the Eucharist. Devotions can warm cold hearts.   Anecdote:  One day in May I was hanging around outside the Paul VI audience hall (Vatican) during a plenary of the Italian Bishops Conference waiting for my bishop to emerge, chatting with fellow journalists and the bishops’ drivers and secretaries a couple bishops who had simply fled the hall in desperate boredom.  I had just been to a Eucharistic procession the day before held by the Teutonic College that went through the Vatican gardens, Swiss Guards carrying the canopy, … stunning.  Deep in his chest this one old bishop rumbled “Meno chiacchiere – più processioni. … Less jabbering – more processions.”

Okay, the other day I posted the thing about shoes and you readers came up with good stuff.

How about it?

And, keep in mind that it won’t have to be this big.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box | Tagged , , | 11 Comments