- Thursday, 02 May 2013 09:04
The Church liturgically honors Saint Athanasius, a bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church. He was the bishop of Alexandria, having been the 20th Patriarch of the Church, and having died in 373. The exact biography of the saint’s life is lost, we do know this theological and pastoral activity. It is said that he was ordained to the episcopate in 328 not yet attained the canonical age of thirty years. Athanasius is famous, that is, distinguished, for being a great defender of the truth of Jesus’ full divinity as well as being fully human: our belief in the Incarnation. He was at that time, and continues to be, revered as a “Father of Orthodoxy.” Historically, he is remembered for composing two treatises, “Contra Gentes” and “De Incarnatione,” written around 318 which is before Arianism got a foothold in society.
What makes Saint Athanasius important for us in the 21st century is that despite the contentiousness of the debate of who Jesus is, it was his personal witness more than anything that led people to the truth of the Faith. The issues in the 4th century remain with us today: many “faithful” Christians don’t know how to explain what and whom they say they believe in. Saint Athanasius is still able articulate Catholic belief.
- Thursday, 25 April 2013 07:27
We know Jesus Christ through the mediation of others and if fortunate, to a personal relationship. On the former, we honor today the author of the first of the gospels. Saint Mark’s testimony to who Jesus is, and what he means to God’s promise to be with us.
The meditation today brings us to guidance we share in for our salvation.
“… the words of our Risen Jesus forbid us to fear such a calamity. He did not say to his Apostles: “Lo! I am with you even to the end of your lives;” but Lo! I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. So that those to whom he addressed himself were to live to the end of the world! What means this, but that the Apostles were to have successors, in whom their rights were to be perpetuated, successors whom Jesus would ever assist by his presence and uphold by his power? The work founded by a God, out of his love for man, and at the price of his own precious Blood, must surely be imperishable! Jesus, by his presence amidst his Apostles, preserved their teaching from all error; by his presence he will also, and forever, guide the teaching of their successors.”
The Liturgical Year
Dom Proper Guéranger, OSB
- Thursday, 11 April 2013 14:10
Saint Stanislaus of Krakow ( July 26, 1030 to April 11, 1079 ) was martyred by King Boleslaus II himself, who had to leave Poland in exile.
The young Stanislaus was well educated in theology and canon law from the university in Paris, allowing him to have an interesting career in the bishop’s court as preacher and archdeacon to the bishop. Later, as bishop, Stanislaus was a man who concentrated on a Christian’s conversion to the Lord, and sought to have the Polish people live according to the Gospel; being conformed to Christ crucified, risen and present in the Eucharist are marks of this saintly bishop; he became a voice against political crime and social injustice. As such, it was Blessed Pope John Paul II who called Saint Stanislaus the patron saint of moral order. His virtues of humility, generosity, courage, strength and faith are to be imitated.
Stanisław was one of the earliest native Polish bishops and he is the first native Polish saint, revered today as a patron saint of Poland, an honor shared with Our Lady and Saint Adalbert.
Since 1969 revision of the liturgical calendar, Stanislaus’ feast day is observed today, but it was observed on May 7 and on May 8 in Krakow.
Saint Stanislaus of Krakow, pray for us.
- Thursday, 14 March 2013 08:44
There are several “firsts” already identified with Pope Francis’ election as the Supreme Pontiff on 13 March. He is the first pope from the Americas, the first pope formed as a member of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits).
But Pope Francis is not the first non-European pope. The last pope not born in Europe was the Syrian Saint Gregory III. He was the 90th bishop of Rome who reigned 18 March 731 – 28 November 741. Gregory was elected without having been a bishop first. By acclamation the educated Syrian priest was elected the pope.
Among many things he had deal with was the iconoclast controversy.
Saint Gregory’s feast is observed by some 28 November and by others on 10 December.
- Wednesday, 13 March 2013 10:38
The Church honors a Spanish saint that many I am sure have not heard about, or know very little of today, Saint Leander of Seville (c. 534-c.600). His parents were known to be pious, his brothers were the famous Saint Isidore of Seville and Saint Fulgentius of Ecija and his sister was Saint Florentina of Cartegena. Leander was both a Benedictine monk and bishop in Seville.
Holy people encourage others to be holy. Leander was a friend Saint Gregory the Great whom he met when Gregory was a papal legate. Apparently, Leander encouraged to Gregory to write his famous treatise on Job known as the Moralia
Saint Leander’s central pastoral and intellectual work was to work against the Arian heresy and in 589 called and presided over the Third Council of Toledo. His theological acumen and the priority he gave to worship inspired Leander to teach with clarity which resulted in keeping the Christian faith, at least in Spain, orthodox. The Creed aided in the catechetical work of contradicting the Arian belief that Jesus was not the Son of God; the Creed also clarified the teaching on the Holy Spirit. Saint Leander was defended by Saint Maximus the Confessor for his insertion of the filioque clause into the Creed (a theological datum that was catechetical and later politicized, even today). For historical purposes, the filioque clause was not the straw that caused the Church to split in two (East and West).
All this catechetical work led the Visigothic kings, therefore, the rest of kingdom, to owe their salvation to Saint Leander.
Liturgical historians credit him with bring together various elements of liturgical practice into a unified whole. It was Leander who added the recitation of the Nicene Creed in the sacred Liturgy.
Spain honors Saint Leander as a Doctor of the Faith.