Thought for the Day – 31 December
St Pope Sylvester I faced a whole new world with the victory of Constantine and saw a greater expansion of Christianity than there had been for the previous three centuries. He was faced with something entirely new and had to adapt the Church to a totally new age. As we face the New Year, we should pray to St Sylvester to help us make a new beginning too. As our lives and the world around us are never static, so too is the place of the Church and our own sanctification within the Mystical Body of Christ never still either – we rush forward to our home.
Let us go forward under the Banner of Christ’s Church!
St Pope Sylvester I Pray for us and for universal Church!
Our Morning Offering – 31 December
O my God, infinitely deserving of love,
I love You above all things.
Inspired by this love,
I offer to You all the actions of this day.
Accept every beat of my heart
as a fervent prayer,
as an act of perfect love:
for Your sole honour,
for the conversion of sinners,
for the perseverance of the just,
for the deliverance of the Holy Souls in Purgatory,
for the sanctification of our Priests
and for all who have asked for our prayers
and for whom we have a special obligation to pray;
also for the propagation of all holy works
and for deliverance from all evil.
I offer all my sufferings of this day
for the Holy Souls in Purgatory,
especially those for whom I should pray
and for those souls who are forgotten.
Through the Immaculate Heart of Your
Holy Mother Mary, I I offer You my all, amen.
Celebrating the Christmas Season – 31 December: The MEMORIAL of ST POPE SYLVESTER I – DAY SEVEN OF THE OCTAVE
“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
I write to you not because you do not know the truth
but because you do and because every lie is alien to the truth.1 John 2: 21
John testified to him and cried out, saying,
“This was he of whom I said,
‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’”John 1:15
Jesus baptises us the the Holy Spirit. All that has prepared us for His coming
gives witness to His presence with us now.
May we remain in the One who has come to be with us.
May we place our trust in the One who promises us life.
I beg You, Lord, give me the sight I need
so that I can see You in those around me
and welcome You into my heart
with the joy of celebration.
If only my eyes could be opened!
Give me the wisdom and internal vision to see
and I will recognize You as my saviour
not only in my heart today
but in my life every day.
I ask that You help me to open my heart more fully
to Your own dizzying love for me.
Help me to be grateful for Your incredible gifts to me.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Saint of the Day – 31 December (died 335) Priest and Pope
St. Sylvester I was born in Rome and ordained by Pope St. Marcellinus. He was consecrated as the 33rd pope with a pontificate from 314 until his death in 335. Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V2MIz9lqn8
The Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313, recognizing Christianity, ending persecutions, and tolerating all religions. Constantine considered it his duty to oversee the Church. He heard the complaints of bishops, summoned councils, settled Church disputes, and looked upon the pope sympathetically.
It took a wise man to work with such a powerful ruler. Pope Sylvester I held office during this crucial period. He had to keep the Church independent of the state and at the same time, keep peace with Emperor Constantine. Pope Sylvester faced the added challenge of advanced age, which prevented him from travel. To deal with the error of the Donatists, he had to send delegates to a council at Arles. Then, when Emperor Constantine called the first ecumenical council—the Council of Nicaea—in 325, the pope asked others to attend the council in his place. This council of bishops was to discuss the Arian heresy and correct the Arians for falsely teaching that Christ was not God. It was at this council that the Nicene Creed was formed.
It is said that the Lateran Palace was given to Pope Sylvester I by Constantine. The pope oversaw the building of the original St. Peter’s.
The people of Rome had a high regard for Pope Sylvester. He was a saintly pope who understood the conflicts his bishops suffered in being loyal to Rome and to Constantine. He humbly accepted the limitations of age and illness, and he persevered in his pastoral care of the Church.
St Sylvester I, Pope (Optional Memorial)
Bl Alan de Solminihac
St Anton Zogaj
St Barbatian of Ravenna
St Columba of Sens
Bl Dominic de Cubells
St Festus of Valencia
St Gelasius of Palestine
Bl Giuseppina Nicoli
St Hermes the Exorcist
St John Francis Regis
St Marius Aventicus
St Melania the Younger
St Offa of Benevento
Bl Peter of Subiaco
St Potentian of Sens
St Sabinian of Sens
St Theophylact of Ohrid
Bl Walembert of Cambrai
Bl Wisinto of Kremsmünster
St Zoticus of Constantinople
Martyrs of Catania – 10 saints
Martyrs of Rome – 10 saints
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War
Bl Leandro Gómez Gil
Bl Luis Vidaurrázaga González