Tag Archives: Roman Martyrology

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.

Saint Isaiah, Prophet

St Isaiah prophet.jpegIn the Roman Martyrology we read that today the Church liturgically recalls Saint Isaiah, a major prophet in the Old Testament. A translation of the entry found in the Martyrology:

Commemoration of holy Isaiah, the prophet, who, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, was sent to reveal that the Lord was faithful and a savior to an unfaithful and sinful people, and to fulfill the promise swear by God to David. It is said that he met death as a martyr at the hands of the Jews under king Manassah.

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

St Blaise3.jpg

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?

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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