Saints: July 2013 Archives

Prophet Ezekiel

| | Comments (0)
Thumbnail image for Ezekiel-icon.jpg

The Church commemorates the Prophet Ezekiel (born c. 622 BC) today. His name means "God will strengthen."  God's strength will be explained by the prophet's persistent and clear call for repentance, purity and holiness.

The Prophet is remembered on various dates among others:

  • Latin Catholics 23 July
  • Byzantine Catholics and Orthodox and some Lutherans on 21 July
  • Armenian Apostolic Church on 28 August
  • It must be noted that Ezekiel, though not named in the Islamic holy Book, is honored.

Ezekiel is said to have been a great teacher and that his lessons were about the renewal and reform of the whole nation through the renewal and reform of each person. But more than a great teacher he was born into a born into a priestly family, meaning that his family was a family of priests in the line of Levi. Ezekiel was a priest who offered sacrifice on behalf of others.

He is remembered for many important things but many will say they are drawn to the miracle he performed of the resuscitation of the dead found in Book of Ezekiel 37. Dry bones are reassembled and live again. An evident foretelling of the Lord's own resurrection from the dead. But aside from brilliant miracles the prophet utterances of Ezekiel's book speak of a vision of God's glory  (the heavens opening) and the restoration of that glory will happen in a dramatic way even though Jerusalem would fall, unbelief of the people in the one God would lead to their destruction (the Jews would understand the abandoned faith was akin to committing national suicide), and that God required the people to do penance for their wandering away from His truth, beauty and goodness.

Saint Mary Magdalen

| | Comments (0)
Magdalen raised by Angels GLanfranco.jpgThe day dawns, Mary, bright with joy,
The Lord is victor over death;
You hasten to anoint the Christ,
The truth, thought cold and void of breath.

You come in haste but 'tis to hear
A white-robed angel gladly tell,
"The one you're seeking rose again,
He broke apart the gates of Hell."

Your love requires a greater joy,
You ask the gard'ner where He lay,
A "Mary!" turning see the Lord
Your teacher, Jesus Christ, the Way.

The tearful Virgin you upheld,
Beneath the cruel gallows tree
And so Christ chose you first of all
As witness of his victory.

O lovely flow'r of Magdala,
Whose love of Christ earned such apart,
Pray we may also have this gift,
The flame of love within our heart.

Lord Jesus, give us such a love,
To olive like Mary all our days,
And so with her in heaven's life
To sing your ever-lasting praise.

Text trans. Kenneth Tomkins, OSB, 1992, Quarr Abbey, Ryde, Isle of Wight
Duccio Doubting Thomas.jpg

The feast of Saint Thomas is Easter in summer: an opportunity to open a new door in what we  believe about in the Messiah. Saint Gregory notes below, God arranged His mercy particularly for us in concrete experience. He took the initiative once again.

With the Church, we pray:

Grant, almighty God, that we may glory in the Feast of the blessed Apostle Thomas, so that we may always be sustained by his intercession and, believing, may have life in the name of Jesus Christ your Son, whom Thomas acknowledged as the Lord.

From a homily on the Gospels by Saint Gregory the Great, pope

Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. He was the only disciple absent; on his return he heard what had happened but refused to believe it. The Lord came a second time; he offered his side for the disbelieving disciple to touch, held out his hands, and showing the scars of his wounds, healed the wound of his disbelief.

Dearly beloved, what do you see in these events? Do you really believe that it was by chance that this chosen disciple was absent, then came and heard, heard and doubted, doubted and touched, touched and believed? It was not by chance but in God's providence. In a marvellous way God's mercy arranged that the disbelieving disciple, in touching the wounds of his master's body, should heal our wounds of disbelief. The disbelief of Thomas has done more for our faith than the faith of the other disciples. As he touches Christ and is won over to belief, every doubt is cast aside and our faith is strengthened. So the disciple who doubted, then felt Christ's wounds, becomes a witness to the reality of the resurrection.

Touching Christ, he cried out: My Lord and my God. Jesus said to him: Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed. Paul said: Faith is the guarantee of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. It is clear, then, that faith is the proof of what can not be seen. What is seen gives knowledge, not faith. When Thomas saw and touched, why was he told: You have believed because you have seen me? Because what he saw and what he believed were different things. God cannot be seen by mortal man. Thomas saw a human being, whom he acknowledged to be God, and said: My Lord and my God. Seeing, he believed; looking at one who was true man, he cried out that this was God, the God he could not see.

What follows is reason for great joy: Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed. There is here a particular reference to ourselves; we hold in our hearts one we have not seen in the flesh. We are included in these words, but only if we follow up our faith with good works. The true believer practices what he believes. But of those who pay only lip service to faith, Paul has this to say: They profess to know God, but they deny him in their works. Therefore James says: Faith without works is dead.

Saint Thomas

| | Comments (0)
Thomas & Jesus window.jpg

Was Saint Thomas really doubting, skeptical, or trying understand a new reality he met in the risen Lord?  The so-called skepticism is seen as weakness but in the Christian way of looking at life, weakness is power. Doubt is really clarification. Thomas, is really an apostle of the Lord's glorification as John's Gospel indicates for us. I can also see Thomas as the apostle who loves the Lord with passion, with ardor, as when he tells the disciples to go with the Lord to the cross when witnessing to the death of Lazarus. Thomas is also the apostle of Christology. He asks, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, how can we know the way?" Jesus sets gives one of his clearest teachings of who He is: "I am the way, the truth and the life." But somewhere along the path charted by Jesus Thomas doesn't immediately accept what others have to say about the resurrection from the dead of Jesus but has to personally probe the fact.

Eusebius of Caesarea writes that Thomas evangelized the peoples of Persia; there is also the claim that he evangelized western India, founding what is known today as the Malabar Church, and later martyred there.

Like Thomas, Didymus, we've met the Lord in his glorious wounds and sometimes we miss what those wounds mean. Thomas is here to help us.

"We find Jesus' wounds in carrying out works of mercy, giving to our body - the body - the soul too, but - I stress - the body of your wounded brother, because he is hungry, because he is thirsty, because he is naked because it is humiliated, because he is a slave, because he's in jail because he is in the hospital. Those are the wounds of Jesus today. And Jesus asks us to take a leap of faith, towards Him, but through these His wounds. 'Oh, great! Let's set up a foundation to help everyone and do so many good things to help '. That's important, but if we remain on this level, we will only be philanthropic. We need to touch the wounds of Jesus, we must caress the wounds of Jesus, we need to bind the wounds of Jesus with tenderness, we have to kiss the wounds of Jesus, and this literally. Just think of what happened to St. Francis, when he embraced the leper? The same thing that happened to Thomas: his life changed

Pope Francis

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]



Humanities Blog Directory

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Saints category from July 2013.

Saints: June 2013 is the previous archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.