Tag Archives: prophet

Holy Prophet Nahum

Prophet NahumThe sacred Liturgy, at least the Byzantine Church, recalls the person of the Holy Prophet Nahum, whose name means “God consoles.” The particularities of Nahum’s life are unknown. Historically we know that the Prophet Nahum came from the village of Elkosh (Galilee) and lived during the seventh century B.C. He died at the age of forty-five, and was buried in his native region. He is the seventh of the Twelve Minor Prophets. How fitting in this era of civil upheaval, personal anxiety, and the temptation to nihilism. The liturgical remembrance of the prophets is a little unusual for Latin Catholics but as we know, nomen omen, the name means something, the name of a person shows that person’s God-given mission to the world.

Scholars tell us that Nahum is distinguished from most of the prophets because he neither issues any call to repentance (metanoia), nor denounce Israel for their infidelity to God. The text is one of the richest in image and composition. But in the Office of Prophet that he exercised, Nahum did speak of  the ruin of the Assyrian city of Nineveh because of its iniquity, the destruction of the Israelite kingdom, and the blasphemy of King Sennacherib against God. The Assyrian king Ashurbanipal died in 632 B.C., and over the next two decades, his empire began to crumble. Nineveh fell in 612 B.C. All this leads to the catastrophic demise of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.

The book of Nahum places a strong emphasis on the God’s absolute sovereignty over everything.

The Byzantine Church ask for the Prophet Nahum and Saint Nahum of Ochrid’s (December 23) for people with mental disorders.

 

Saint Moses the Prophet

St MosesToday, at least in the Orthodox world, Moses the Prophet and God-Seer, is liturgically remembered for giving us God’s Law, leading the Hebrews to the Promised Land, and taking off his sandals before the burning bush. Catholics liturgically commemorate the Prophet Moses but he is not currently on the Roman liturgical calendar. This Moses is not confused with another Saint Moses who was a hermit and bishop and called by some the “Apostle to the Saracens.”

“That light teaches us what we must do to stand within the rays of the true light: sandaled feet cannot ascend that height where the light of truth is seen, but the dead and earthly covering of skins, which was placed around our nature at the beginning when we were found naked because of disobedience to the divine will, must be removed from the feet of our soul. When we do this, the knowledge of the truth will result and manifest itself.”
— St. Gregory of Nyssa, “The Life of Moses”

Religious life is prophetic

“In the church, the [consecrated] religious are called to be prophets in particular by demonstrating how Jesus lived on this earth, and to proclaim how the kingdom of God will be in its perfection. A religious must never give up prophecy … Let us think about what so many great saints, monks, and religious men and women have done, from St. Anthony the Abbot onward. Being prophets may sometimes imply making waves.” —Pope FrancisLa Civilta Cattolica interview, September 2013.

“When there is no prophecy among the people, clericalism fills the void.”

Pope Francis, daily Mass homily, December 16, 2013.

Saint Jeremiah

Holy Prophet Jeremiah.jpg

The Catholic Church places the Old Testament prophets, like Jeremiah, for example, as saints. The Roman Martyrology is the Church’s official book listing the saints (the entry is below); typically the OT prophets are not commemorated at the altar.

 

Saint Jeremiah’s Prayer for Protection

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed. Save me, and I shall be saved, for You are my boast. Behold they say to me,”Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come.” But I have not grown weary in following after You, nor have I desired the day of man. You know the words of my lips are before Your face. Do not be as a stranger to me, and spare me in the evil day. Let those who persecute me be put to shame, but I may not be ashamed. May they , but not I, be terrified. Bring upon them an evil day and crush them with a double destruction.

 

From the Roman Martyrology (2005), we read, 

 

Commemoratio sancti Ieremiae, prophetae, qui, tempore Ioachim et Sedeciae, regum Iudae, Civitatis Sanctae eversionem populique deportationem monens, multas persecutiones passus est, quam ob rem Ecclesia eum habuit ut Christi patientis figuram.  Novum aeternumque insuper Testamentum in ipso Christo Iesu consummandum praenuntiavit, quo Pater omnipotens legem suam in imo filiorum Israel corde scriberet, ut esset ipse iis in Deum et essent illi ei in populum.

 

A translation:

The Commemmoration of Saint Jeremiah the prophet, who in the days of Joachim and Zedekiah, Kings of Judah, warned of the sack of the Holy City and the expulsion of its people. He suffered such persecution that the Church holds him as a figure of the suffering Christ. He, moreover, prophesied the the new and everlasting testament would be perfected in Christ Jesus Himself in Whom the almighty Father would write His law in the very hearts of the sons of Israel, that He might be their God and they His people.

Prophet Habakkuk

Prophet Habakkuk.jpgThe Byzantine liturgical calendar includes the prophets in its commemorations because they foretell the coming of the Messiah, as the Kontakion states for today. (The Latin Church has the prophets in the Martyrology but does often feasts.) As a liturgical note, kontakion is a poetic text tied to the celebration at hand, or of a particular saint recalled during the Liturgy, most often sung by the deacon or some designated person following the proclamation of the gospel.


The holy prophet Habakkuk was the 8th of the 12 minor prophets from the Tribe of Simeon and he prophesied c. 650 BC. You’ll remember that Habakkuk prophesied the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, the Babylonian Captivity and the return of the Israelites. Habakkuk’s encounter with an angel transported him to the prison where the Prophet Daniel was exhausted from hunger (Daniel 14:33-37).

Divinely eloquent Habakkuk, you announced to
the world the coming forth of God from the south, from the Virgin. Standing on
the divine watch, you received a report from the radiant angel: “You proclaimed
the Resurrection of Christ to the world!” Therefore in gladness we cry out to
you: “Rejoice, splendid adornment of the prophets!”
 
Byzantine Liturgy, Kontakion   

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]yahoo.com.
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