Tag Archives: Roman Martyrology

The Most Holy Name of Mary

Czestochowa OL.jpgThe Church has offered us a “Marian sandwich.” Let me explain. This week we are honoring the Mother of God with three distinct memorials: The Nativity of Mary (Sept. 8) and Our Lady of Sorrows (Sept 15) and today the commemoration of the Holy Name of Mary. In liturgical history this feast has been observed on various days before settling on this day. The feast was reintroduced to our Roman Missal by Pope John Paul II.

The Roman Martyrology writes,
The Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a day on which the inexpressible love of the Mother of God for her Holy Child is recalled, and the eyes of the faithful are directed to the figure of the Mother of the Redeemer, for them to invoke with devotion.
The Church prays,
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, for all who celebrate the glorious Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, she may obtain your merciful favor.

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Saint Moses

Moses and the Burning Bush DBouts.jpgThe Kontakian of the Byzantine Liturgy the Church prays,

With the divine and righteous Moses and Aaron, the Prophets’ choir today rejoices with gladness, seeing their prophecy fulfilled now in our midst; for Your Cross, O Christ our God, whereby You have redeemed us,, shine in the sight of all as the end and fulfillment of that which they foretold in ancient times. By their entreaties, have mercy upon all of us.
The Church honors Old Testament figures liturgically, and today we recall Moses, a Holy Forefather. However, these Old Testament people do not appear on the Roman Calendar but they do in the Eastern Calendar. In the Roman Martyrology (an official liturgical book that catalogues the cult of saints, including the ecclesial acts of beatification and canonization) we find Saint Moses.
It is to Moses, whom we call a holy prophet and lawgiver. He was chosen by God to lead the oppressed people out of Egypt to the Promised Land. To Moses we learn that God has revealed Himself through the burning but unconsumed bush and it is on Mount Sinai through Moses that we learn God’s name, “I Am Who I Am.” It is through Moses that we receive the Law and “at a ripe old age” Moses died before entering the Promised Land and designed by God.
According to Catholic theology, Moses is an Old Testament type of Jesus, who in the Gospel of Matthew, is known as the “new Moses” and and is said to be Elias on Tabor at the Lord’s Transfiguration.
Moses is a particular appropriate saint for Benedictines to know, follow, and imitate. His life and vocation to be a prophet –that is, a witness, to the encounter with God, ought to motivate us to a deeper call to seek the face of God. The Benedictine vocation to be present to the Divine Mystery in front of us.
So, yes, Catholics call Moses “saint.”
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Blessing of Throats on the feast of Saint Blaise

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Hear, O Lord, the supplications your people make under the patronage of the Martyr Saint Blaise, and grant that they may rejoice in peace in this present life and find help for life eternal.

(the Collect at Mass)

From the Roman Martyrology we read:

At Sebaste in Armenia [in the 4th century], in the time of the governor Agricolaus, the passion of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, who, after working many miracles, was scourged for a long time, suspended from a tree where his flesh was lacerated with iron combs. He was then imprisoned in a dark dungeon, thrown into a lake from which he came out safe, and finally, by order of the judge, he and two boys were beheaded. Before him, seven women who were gathering the drops of his blood during his torture, were recognized as Christians, and after undergoing severe torments, were put to death by the sword.

The Order of Blessing of candles for the blessing of throats is noted here.
You may ask why get your throat blessed. I’d ask, if you were truly Catholic, why would you NOT have your throat blessed on this feast day. As the Church prays today, we praise God for the gift of staying close to him in times of persecution –that we don’t weaken in faith in Christ Jesus our Savior. Through the intercession of Blaise, a 4th century witness to Christ who was known to be a physician, bishop and martyr may we come closer to the Lord and in doing so, tell others about Him. The blessing of throats as such is not that important. What is important the recognition that all things come from God the Father through Jesus under the power of the Holy Spirit. The blessing of throats is a dynamic example of begging of God to bestow grace upon us. Here is the sacramentality. Here is the mission-focus of our faith: Grace comes into our context. Who doesn’t need grace? Who would be so full of pride and laziness not to approach the Throne of Grace asking for help and love?

Saint Robert Bellarmine

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Today’s saint is special to me for many personal reasons, one of which is the fact that he gave himself to the Lord for his total and unreserved use. One can claim to like Bellarmine for his intellect, or the way he worked with controversial Catholic preachers and theologians and Protestants, or with Galileo, or his service to several popes, but what about his capacity to love the Lord and his neighbor, and what about his ability to know his limitations and his gifts, or his capacity to live the Beatitudes? 

Each time I am in Rome I make a path to St Ignatius’s Church where Bellarmine is buried in the third chapel on the right as you face the main altar, near to his dear friend, Saint Aloyius Gonzaga, to pray for several intentions, among them are: theologians, the pope, the Jesuits, +Avery Robert Dulles and of course, myself.

The Roman Martyrology (2005) has this entry for Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621): 

The feast of St. Robert Bellarmine, from the Society of Jesus, Doctor of the Church and bishop, who was outstanding at arguing the theological controversies of his day. He resigned his red hat, then gave himself wholeheartedly both to pastoral ministry in Capua, with great success, and took up very many challenges in defense of the doctrine of the faith at the Holy See in Rome.

Saint Joshua

St Joshua.jpgThe Roman Martyrology notes Saint Joshua’s feast day today. You remember him, Joshua, son of Nun, servant of the Lord, who became inspired by the Holy Spirit after Moses laid hands on him and who led the Israelites into the Promised Land. The Righteous Joshua is said to have lived for a 110 years reposing c. 1440 BC.

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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