Posted in SAINT of the DAY, The SIGN of the CROSS

Saint of the Day – 6 August – Saint Pope Hormisdas (c 450-523)

Saint of the Day – 6 August – Saint Pope Hormisdas (c 450-523) – Papal Ascension 514 to 523 – talented diplomat, arbitrator and negotiater, born at Frosinone, Latium (southern Italy) and died at Rome on 6 August 523 of natural causes.St.-Hormisdas-Pope

One of the few popes to ever have children, Hormisdas’ actually raised his son to be a pope, Silverus (died 538).

A man of wealth, Hormisdas was born about 450 AD in Frosinone, Campagnia di Roma, Italy, in other words, the plains around the city of Rome.   This would put him in the centre of continual politics and controversy his whole life.   As a youth, Hormisdas married and had at least one son.   He most likely had a career in law or diplomacy, since he seemed to have such talent in this field.

However, as a middle-aged man, Hormisdas was probably widowed and turned his attention to the Church.   He became a deacon.   A well-known figure in Rome, Hormisdas was a foremost clerical supporter of Pope Symmachus during the Laurentian Schism, a time of competing papacies.   He was a notary of the 502 synod.

The day after the burial of the dead pope, Symmachus, Hormisdas was elected without notable controversy.   The people of Rome were probably tired of the anger and fighting.
His first action after his election was to receive back into the Church all the adherents of the Laurentian schism, those who had not yet reconciled.   The schism had lasted much too long, most likely because of a hatred directed at the person of Symmachus. Hormisdas wanted to move forward.

The second action Hormisdas took was to try to clear up the long lasting Acacian schism. This had been going on for 30 years, since 484.   Some Eastern bishops had tried to take the matter into their hands by writing to Symmachus asking for an attempt at re-unification.   However, Symmachus wanted the bishops to condemn Acacius and the bishops disagreed.   It was time for the new pope to try.Pope_hormisdas-e1496087523114

Emperor Anastasius, succssor to Zeno, was still on the throne.   He had maintained the Henoticon to the point that he was inclined toward Monophysitism, the belief that the Divine nature and the human nature of Jesus were one.   This was not the teaching of Rome.   Anastasius had driven three patriarchs out of their cities for their too orthodox teachings.

Discontent had been growing towards Anastasius’ inclinations.   A commander of the army, Vitalian of Lower Moesia, led a revolt.   He made two demands – 1. he wanted the office of distribution of grain for the troops restored to his person, a rather minor request;  and  2. he wanted the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon to be recognised and full unity with Rome.   Vitalian was very insistent.   He got many supporters as he marched towards Constantinople with his growing army.   By the time he arrived, in the late fall of 514, the emperor’s nephew, Hypatius, was waiting for him with the emperor’s army.   Hypatius was defeated and Emperor Anastasius was obligated to negotiate.

Vitalian was in a position to push his agenda.   He demanded that Anastasius convene a synod at Heraclea on 1 July 515, invite the pope and submit to the pope’s arbitration, the dispute about the various empty sees to restore unity.   Playing a game of chance with letters to the pope, the emperor sent out two letters by two carriers.   It took months for the pope to receive either and his ambassadors got to Heraclea too late for the synod.

A game of cat and mouse took up the next three years as ambassadors went back and forth, to no avail.   But suddenly, Anastasiius died in July of 518 and his supporter, the Patriarch Timotheus died shortly thereafter.   The new emperor, Justin I was a Chalcedonian Christian and was bound to reject the Monophysitism.   Within a year, negotiations had ironed out a formula.

In March, 519, the new Patriarch John signed a confession of faith, also known as the Formula of Hormisdas, reaffirming the teachings of the Council of Chalcedon.
The first sentence of the Formula reads as follows:  “The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.”

Pope Hormisdas lived several years after his crowning accomplishment, dying on August 6, 523 AD.   He is buried in St Peter’s Basilica.   The Papal Medallion below is one of the only 56 on the main floor of St Peter’s pope medallion at st peter's M-Hormisdas-52

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The SIGN of the CROSS, Uncategorized

Our Morning Offering – 8 July – In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Our Morning Offering – 8 July – Monday of the Fourteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C

In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
By St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Father, keep us from vain strife of words.
Grant to us constant profession of the Truth!
Preserve us in a true and undefiled faith
so that we may hold fast to that
which we professed
when we were baptised
in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
that we may have You for our Father,
that we may abide in Your Son
and in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
Amenin the name of the father son and holy spirit - st hilary - 8 july 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The PASSION, The SIGN of the CROSS

Thoughts for Holy Week – 15 April – We are soon going to share in the Passover

Thoughts for Holy Week – 15 April – Monday of Holy Week

We are soon going to share in the Passover

Saint Gregory Nazianzen (330-390)
Bishop and Great Eastern Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Oration 45

We are soon going to share in the Passover and although we still do so, only in a symbolic way, the symbolism already has more clarity than it possessed in former times because, under the law, the Passover was, if I may dare to say so, only a symbol of a symbol.   Before long, however, when the Word drinks the new wine with us in the kingdom of His Father, we shall be keeping the Passover in a yet more perfect way and with deeper understanding.   He will then reveal to us and make clear what He has so far only partially disclosed.   For this wine, so familiar to us now, is eternally new.

It is for us to learn what this drinking is and for Him to teach us.   He has to communicate this knowledge to His disciples, because teaching is food, even for the teacher.

So let us take our part in the Passover prescribed by the law, not in a literal way but according to the teaching of the Gospel, not in an imperfect way but perfectly, not only for a time, but eternally.   Let us regard as our home the heavenly Jerusalem, not the earthly one, the city glorified by angels, not the one laid waste by armies.   We are not required to sacrifice young bulls or rams, beasts with horns and hoofs that are more dead than alive and devoid of feeling but instead, let us join the choirs of angels in offering God upon His heavenly altar a sacrifice of praise.   We must now pass through the first veil and approach the second, turning our eyes toward the Holy of Holies.   I will say more – we must sacrifice ourselves to God, each day and in everything we do, accepting all that happens to us for the sake of the Word, imitating His passion by our sufferings and honouring His blood by shedding our own.   We must be ready to be crucified.

If you are a Simon of Cyrene, take up your cross and follow Christ.   If you are crucified beside Him like one of the thieves, now, like the good thief, acknowledge your God.   For your sake and because of your sin, Christ Himself was regarded as a sinner, for His sake, therefore, you must cease to sin.   Worship Him who was hung on the cross because of you, even if you are hanging there yourself.   Derive some benefit from the very shame, purchase salvation with your death.   Enter paradise with Jesus and discover how far you have fallen.   Contemplate the glories there and leave the other scoffing thief to die outside in his blasphemy.

If you are a Joseph of Arimathea, go to the one who ordered his crucifixion and ask for Christ’s body.   Make your own, the expiation for the sins of the whole world.   If you are a Nicodemus, like the man who worshipped God by night, bring spices and prepare Christ’s body for burial.   If you are one of the Marys, or Salome, or Joanna, weep in the early morning.   Be the first to see the stone rolled back and even the angels perhaps and Jesus Himself.i will say more - we mut sacrifice ourselves to god - st gregory of nazianzen - mon of holy week 15 april 2019.jpg


The Cross of Christ is the source of all blessings, the cause of all graces – St Pope Leo the Great

Lenten Thoughts – 9 April – Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Year C

The Cross of Christ

is the source of all blessings,

the cause of all graces

St Pope Leo the Great (c 400-461)
Bishop of Rome and Great Western Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his On the Lord’s Passion

Sermon 8

Our understanding, which is enlightened by the Spirit of truth, should receive with purity and freedom of heart the glory of the Cross as it shines in heaven and on earth.   It should see with inner vision the meaning of the Lord’s words when He spoke of the imminence of His passion – The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Afterwards, He said – Now my soul is troubled and what am I to say?   Father, save me from this hour.   But it was for this that I came to this hour.   Father, glorify your Son. When the voice of the Father came from heaven, saying, I have glorified him and will glorify him again, Jesus said in reply to those around him:  It was not for me that this voice spoke but for you.   Now is the judgement of the world, now will the prince of this world be cast out.   And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself.

How marvellous the power of the Cross, how great beyond all telling the glory of the passion, here is the judgement-seat of the Lord, the condemnation of the world, the supremacy of Christ crucified.

Lord, you drew all things to Yourself so that the devotion of all peoples everywhere might celebrate, in a sacrament made perfect and visible, what was carried out in the one temple of Judea under obscure foreshadowings.

Now there is a more distinguished order of Levites, a greater dignity for the rank of elders, a more sacred anointing for the priesthood, because Your Cross is the source of all blessings, the cause of all graces.   Through the Cross the faithful receive strength from weakness, glory from dishonour, life from death.

The different sacrifices of animals are no more – the one offering of Your body and blood is the fulfilment of all the different sacrificial offerings, for You are the true Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world.   In Yourself, You bring to perfection all mysteries, so that, as there is one sacrifice in place of all other sacrificial offerings, there is also one kingdom gathered from all peoples.

Dearly beloved, let us then acknowledge what Saint Paul, the teacher of the nations, acknowledged so exultantly.  This is a saying worthy of trust, worthy of complete acceptance – Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners.   God’s compassion for us is all the more wonderful because Christ died, not for the righteous or the holy but for the wicked and the sinful and, though the divine nature could not be touched by the sting of death, He took to Himself, through His birth as one of us, something He could offer on our behalf.

The power of His death once confronted our death.   In the words of Hosea the prophet, Death, I shall be your death;  grave, I shall swallow you up.   By dying He submitted to the laws of the underworld, by rising again, He destroyed them.   He did away with the everlasting character of death, so as to make death a thing of time, not of eternity.   As all die in Adam, so all, will be brought to life in Christ.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever.
Amenhe did away with the everlasting character of deth - st pope leo the great 9 april 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SPEAKING of ....., The HOLY CROSS, The SIGN of the CROSS

Quote/s of the Day – 9 April – “Speaking of the Cross of Christ”

Quote/s of the Day – 9 April – Tuesday of the Fifth week of Lent

“Speaking of the Cross of Christ”

“Jesus never sinned, yet He was crucified for you.
Will you refuse to be crucified for Him, who for your sake was nailed to the cross?
You are not the one who gives the favour, you have received one first.
For your sake He was crucified on Golgotha.
Now you are returning His favour, you are fulfilling your debt to Him.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)

Father & Doctor of the Churchjesus-never-sinned-yet-he-was-crucified-for-you-st-cyrilofjerusalem-7feb2019.jpg

“By Baptism we are made flesh of the Crucified.”

“The cross of Christ is the true ground
and chief cause of Christian hope.”

“Let no one be ashamed of the cross
by which Christ has redeemed the world.
None of us must be afraid to suffer
for the sake of justice or doubt the
fulfilment of the promises,
for it is through toil that we come to rest
and through death that we pass to life.”

St Pope Leo the Great (c 400-461) Doctor of the Churchby-baptism-st-leo-the-great-quotes-on-the-cross-10-nov-2018.jpg

“O Blessed Cross,
You are venerated, preached
and honoured by the faith of the Patriarchs,
the predictions of the Prophets,
the senate that judges the Apostles,
the victorious army of Martyrs
and the throngs of all the Saints”
(Sermo XLVII, 14, p. 304)

St Peter Damian (1007-1072) Doctor of the Churcho-blessed-cross-st-peter-damian-21-feb-2019.jpg

“This is that enviable and blessed cross of Christ . . .
the cross in which alone we must make our boast,
as Paul, God’s chosen instrument, has told us.”

St Raymond of Peñafort (1175-1275)
“Father of Canon Law”

this-is-that-enviable-st-raymond-of-penafort-7 jan 2019.jpg

“And if He gave His life for us,
then it should not be difficult
to bear whatever hardships arise for His sake.
If you seek patience,
you will find no better example than the cross.
Christ endured much on the cross and did so patiently,
because “when he suffered he did not threaten,
he was led like a sheep to the slaughter
and he did not open his mouth.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor of the Churchand-if-he-gave-his-life-for-us-st-thomas-aquinas-28-jan-2018 (1).jpg

“The Cross is God’s chair in the world.”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)the-cross-is-gods-chair-in-the-world-st-john-paul-22feb2019.jpg


Lenten Thoughts – 6 April – THE BELOVED CROSSES

Lenten Thoughts – 6 April – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C

“Not for a day, not for a week, not for a year but all our lives.”
St John Vianney (1786-1859)

The saints, my dear brethren, all loved the Cross and found in it their strength and their consolation.

But, you will say to me, is it necessary, then, always to have something to suffer? …. Now sickness or poverty, or again scandal or calumny, or possibly loss of money or an infirmity?

Have you been calumniated, my friends?   Have you been loaded with insults?   Have you been wronged?   So much the better!   That is a good sign, do not worry, you are on the road that leads to Heaven.   Do you know when you ought to be really upset? I do not know if you understand it but it should be precisely for the opposite reason — when you have nothing to endure, when everyone esteems and respects you.   Then you should feel envious of those who have the happiness of passing their lives in suffering, or contempt, or poverty.

Are you forgetting, then, that at your Baptism you accepted the Cross, which you must never abandon until death and that it is the key that you will use to open the door of Heaven?   Are you forgetting the words of our Saviour: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Not for a day, not for a week, not for a year but all our lives.   The saints had a great fear of passing any time without suffering, for they looked upon it as time lost.

According to St Teresa, man is only in this world to suffer and when he ceases to suffer, he should cease to live. St John of the Cross asks God, with tears, to give him the grace to suffer more as a reward for all his labours.

What should we conclude, my dear children, from all that?

Just this – Let us make a resolution to have a great respect for all the crosses, which are blessed and which represent to us in a small way all that our God Suffered for us.   Let us recall that from the Cross flow all the graces that are bestowed upon us and that as a consequence, a cross which is blessed is a source of blessings, that we should often make the Sign of the Cross on ourselves and always with great respect and, finally, that our houses should never remain without this symbol of salvation.

“Everything is a reminder of the Cross.
We ourselves are made in the shape of a cross.”

Fill your children, my dear brethren, with the greatest respect for the Cross and always have a blessed cross on yourselves, it will protect you against the Devil, from the vengeance of Heaven and from all danger.   This is what I desire for you.everything is a reminder of the cross - st jon vianney 2018.jpg


Lenten Thoughts – 15 March – “When war comes, fight courageously for Him.”

Lenten Thoughts – 15 March – Friday of the First week of Lent, Year C Gospel: Matthew 5:20–26

“Will you refuse to be crucified for Him,
who for your sake was nailed to the cross?”

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Catecheses, 13

The Catholic Church glories in every deed of Christ.   Her supreme glory, however, is the cross.   Well aware of this, Paul says – God forbid that I glory in anything but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!

At Siloam, there was a sense of wonder and rightly so.   A man born blind recovered his sight.   But of what importance is this, when there are so many blind people in the world?   Lazarus rose from the dead but even this affected only Lazarus.  What of those countless numbers who have died because of their sins?   Those five miraculous loaves fed five thousand people.   Yet this is a small number compared to those all over the world who were starved by ignorance.   After eighteen years a woman was freed from the bondage of Satan.   But are we not all shackled by the chains of our own sins?

For us all, however, the cross is the crown of victory!   It has brought light to those blinded by ignorance.   It has released those enslaved by sin.   Indeed, it has redeemed the whole of mankind!

Do not, then, be ashamed of the cross of Christ, rather, glory in it.   Although it is a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles, the message of the cross is our salvation.   Of course it is folly to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.   For it was not a mere man who died for us but the Son of God, God made man.

In the Mosaic law a sacrificial lamb banished the destroyer.   But now it is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.   Will He not free us from our sins even more? The blood of an animal, a sheep, brought salvation.   Will not the blood of the only-begotten Son bring us greater salvation?

He was not killed by violence, He was not forced to give up His life.   His was a willing sacrifice.   Listen to His own words – I have the power to lay down my life and take it up again.   Yes, he willingly submitted to His own passion.   He took joy in his achievement, in His crown of victory He was glad and in the salvation of man He rejoiced.   He did not blush at the cross for by it He was to save the world.   No, it was not a lowly man who suffered but God incarnate.   He entered the contest, for the reward He would win by His patient endurance.

Certainly in times of tranquillity the cross should give you joy.   But maintain the same faith in times of persecution.   Otherwise you will be a friend of Jesus in times of peace and His enemy during war.   Now you receive the forgiveness of your sins and the generous gift of grace from your King.   When war comes, fight courageously for Him.

Jesus never sinned, yet He was crucified for you.   Will you refuse to be crucified for Him, who for your sake was nailed to the cross?   You are not the one who gives the favour, you have received one first.   For your sake He was crucified on Golgotha.   Now you are returning His favour, you are fulfilling your debt to Him.jesus never sinned yet he was crucified for you - st cyril of jerusalem 15 march 2019.jpg