Saint of the Day – 4 December – St John Damascene/John of Damascus FATHER & DOCTOR of the CHURCH “called the “last of the Church Fathers”(675/6-749) – Patron of Pharmacists, icon painters, theology students
St. John lived in the eighth century. He was born in the city of Damascus of a good Christian family. When his father died, he became the governor of Damascus. But the spirit of the Muslim rulers was turning against Christians, so John left his position in the government and became a monk in Jerusalem. He spent most of his life in the monastery of Saint Sabas, near Jerusalem and all of his life under Muslim rule, indeed, protected by it.
He is famous in three areas:
First, he is known for his writings against the iconoclasts, who opposed the veneration of images. Paradoxically, it was the Eastern Christian emperor Leo who forbade the practice, and it was because John lived in Muslim territory that his enemies could not silence him.
Second, he is famous for his treatise, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, a summary of the Greek Fathers (of which he became the last). It is said that this book is for Eastern schools what the Summa of Aquinas became for the West.
Third, he is known as a poet, one of the two greatest of the Eastern Church, the other being Romanus the Melodist. His devotion to the Blessed Mother and his sermons on her feasts are well known.
Apostleship of Prayer Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36pyHrbbW0Y