Category Archives: Saints

First Holy Martyrs of the Roman Church

Martyrs.jpgFather, You sanctified the Church of Rome with the blood of her first martyrs. May we find strength from their triumph.

The Church commemorates those who gave their lives for Christ and the Church under the persecution of Nero around the year of A.D. 64.

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Sts Peter and Paul.jpg

Peter, blest Shepherd! hearken to our cry,

And with a word unloose our guilty chain;

Thou who hast power to open the gates on high

To men below, and power to shut them fast again.

O thou great Doctor, Paul, we here beseech of thee

Lead thou our spirits up to heavenly mystery,

Tills ends the partial knowledge that to us is given

While here below, and we receive the fuller light in heaven.

May everlasting honor, power, and glory be

And jubilation, to the Holy Trinity,

The One God, ever ruling all things mightily,

Throughout all endless ages of eternity. Amen.


God, Who has made holy this day with the martyrdom of Thine Apostles Peter and
Paul, grant that Thy Church may in all things follow the precepts of those from
whom it first received the faith.

Saint Irenaeus of Lyons

Thumbnail image for St Irenaeus.jpgIn your manner a participant,
And in your throne a successor of
the Apostles,
You discovered action an entrance into visions,
O inspired one of God.
Therefore directing the Word of Truth,
You suffered for the faith even unto blood.
O Bishop and Martyr Irenaues,

Pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved!

(Troparion, Tone 4)

Give perfection to beginners, O Father; give intelligence to
the little ones; give aid to those who are running their course. Give sorrow to
the negligent; give fervor of spirit to the lukewarm. Give to the perfect a
good consummation; for the sake of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

(Prayer of Saint Irenaeus)

Pope Benedict XVI March 28, 2007 catechesis on Saint Irenaeus is helpful to read.

We cling to our faith because of the witnesses that go before us, those who point the way to the Lord. Our Catholic faith is born of the faith of another. Therefore, we hold fast to apostolic faith given to us by the Apostles and we in turn pass the orthodox faith onto others. As Irenaeus said, “Hold in suspicion those who depart from the primitive succession” and “those who put forward their own compositions, boasting that they possess more Gospels than there really are.” One interesting note about Saint Irenaeus is that he is the first theologian to insist that we follow the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John because they were trustworthy, and no others.

Saint Cyril of Alexandria

St Cyril of Alexandria.jpgO God, Who did make blessed Cyril, Thy Confessor and
Bishop, the invincible champion of the divine motherhood of he most Blessed
Virgin Mary; grant through his intercession, that we who believe her to be
truly the Mother of God, may be saved through her maternal intercession.

Saint Cyril’s (of the 5th cent.) importance for us even today deals with matter of Christology: Who is Jesus Christ and why is He important?  As patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt, he was known as a competent theologian and orator. At the Council of Ephesus he defended the humanity and divinity as a unity of Jesus Christ against those who taught otherwise. What today’s opening prayer emphasizes more is Cyril’s defense of Mary being the mother of Word made flesh, contradicting the infamous heretic Nestorius. 

Two essential facts of orthodox Christian faith taught by Saint Cyril: that Jesus was begotten by God the Father before all ages; and that Jesus was also begotten in the flesh of the Virgin Mary. 

Saint Josemaría Escrivá

St Josemaria Escriva.jpgGod our Father, you chose Saint Josemaría to proclaim the universal call sanctity and apostolate in the Church. By his example and prayers grant that in faithfully carrying out our daily work in the Spirit of Christ, we may be formed in the likeness of your Son, and together with the most Blessed Virgin Mary, serve the work of redemption with an ardent love.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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