Posted in CHRIST the WORD, FATHERS of the Church, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 December – . I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. – Luke 3:16

One Minute Reflection – 12 December – “Gaudete Sunday” – Readings: Zephaniah 3: 14-18; Psalm Isaiah 12: 2-6; Philippians 4: 4-7; Luke 3: 10-18 – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

I am baptising you with water, for repentance but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptise you with the holy Spirit and fire.” – Luke 3:16

REFLECTION – “Now we must focus on what is meant by these sandals from the spiritual standpoint. We know that Moses said long ago: “Put off your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” We read that Joshua, the son of Nun likewise said, “Remove the latchet from your sandal.” But as to why they are ordered by the Lord to remove their sandals, we must understand this to be the type of a future truth.
According to the law, if a man is unwilling to accept the wife of his brother after his brother’s death, he should take off his shoes, so that another may marry her and succeed, by right of law.
As to the commandment prefigured in law, we find it fulfilled in Christ, Who is the true Bridegroom of the Church. Therefore, because neither Moses the lawgiver, nor Joshua the leader of the people, could be the bridegroom of the Church, not without good reason, was it said to them that they should remove the sandals from their feet because the true future Bridegroom of the Church, Christ, was to be expected.
John says concerning Him: “He who has the bride is the bridegroom.” To bear, or loosen His sandals, John professed himself to be unworthy. The Lord Himself, through David, revealed that these sandals signify the footsteps of Gospel preaching when he says, “Upon Edom I cast my shoe,” through His Apostles, He will take the steps of Gospel ,teaching everywhere.”St Chromatius of Aquileia Bishop and Father of the Church (Died c 407) (Tractate on Matthew, 11). About St Chromatius below.

PRAYER – O infinite God and only love of my soul,
I thank You, for having given me Your Son.
For the sake of this same Son,
accept me and bind me with chains of love to my Redeemer. Amen … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for us!

ABOUT St Chromatius of Aquileia:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/02/saint-of-the-day-2-december-saint-chromatius-of-aquileia-died-c-407/

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

Our Lady of Didinia, Cappadocia, Turkey (363) and Memorials of the Saints – 2 December

Our Lady of Didinia, Cappadocia, Turkey (363) – 2 December:

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Our Lady of Didinia is in Cappadocia. It was before this Shrine that Saint Basil had begged the Blessed Virgin to remedy the disorders caused by Julian the Apostate. The Saint was granted a vision from Mary, which foretold the death of the emperor.”

The godless Emperor Julian threatened the City of Caesarea with destruction because of a grudge he bore. Saint Basil the Great (329-379) gathered the frightened inhabitants on Mount Didinia, where there was a Marian Church . After three days of prayer and fasting, Basil had a vision in which he saw Mary surrounded by celestial hosts and heard her say: “Go call Mercury to me. He shall kill the blasphemer of my Son.
Saint Mercurius (Mercury) was a Saint/Martyr who died in the year 250. He was a powerful man physically but also courageous. According to tradition, he was once facing a much superior army of Berbers when St Michael the Archangel appeared to him. St Michael gave Mercurius a sword shortly before the battle, telling him:
Mercurius, servant of Jesus Christ, do not be afraid. Take this sword from my hand and fight the Berbers with it. Do not forget your God when you come back victoriously. I am Michael the Archangel, whom God sent to inform you, that you should suffer for the Lord’s Name. I shall be with you and support you until you complete your testimony. The Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified in you.”
Mercurius felt a strength and confidence granted to him from the sword of Saint Michael and was invincible in the combat. Not much later, however, he refused to burn incense before the false idols in thanksgiving for the victory and was subsequently tortured and killed for his faith in the true God.
After the vision of the Mother of God, both Saint Basil and Libanius went to the Church of Saint Mercury. Upon their arrival they found that the arms of Saint Mercurius, which were usually hung there on display, were now missing. Remembering the words of the Blessed Virgin, they then went back to Mount Didinia rejoicing and spread the news of the death of the tyrant to the inhabitants.
When the faithful went back to the City and the Church of Saint Mercurius, they found the lance of Mercury back in its accustomed place, although now it was wet with blood.
The Emperor Julian had gone on campaign in Persia,but was forced to retreat from the region. It was later learned that he had died in that foreign land on that same night that Saint Mercurius’ weapons had disappeared. History records that he received a wound from a spear that had pierced his liver and intestines, suffering a major hemorrhage from the wound which killed him.

St Athanasius of the Caves (Died c 1176) Hermit
St Avitas of Rouen

St Bibiana (Died c 361) Virgin Martyr
Biography here:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/saint-of-the-day-2-december/

St Chromatius of Aquileia (Died c 407) Bishop of Aquileia, Theologian, Exegete, Writer and friend of Saints Ambrose and Jerome, defender of Saint John Chrysostom.
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/02/saint-of-the-day-2-december-saint-chromatius-of-aquileia-died-c-407/

St Evasius of Brescia
Bl Francisco del Valle Villar
St Habakkuk the Prophet
Bl Ivan Sleziuk
Bl John Amero

Bleared Jan van Ruysbroec (c 1293-1382) Known as John “the Admirable,” “the Ecstatic Doctor,” “the Divine Doctor.” Priest, Hermit, Mystic, Spiritual Director and Spiritual Writer. Beatified on 1 December 1908 by Pope Pius X.
About Blessed Jan:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/02/saint-of-the-day-2-december-blessed-john-van-ruysbroeck/
St Lupus of Verona
Bl Maria Angela Astorch
St Nonnus of Edessa
St Oderisius de Marsi
St Pimenio in Rome
St Pontian

Blessed Rafal Chylinski OFM Conv (1694-1741) Priest of the Order of Friars Minor, Preacher, Apostle of Charity, Musician.
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/02/saint-of-the-day-2-december-blessed-rafal-chylinski-ofm-conv-1694-1741/

Bl Robert of Matallana
St Silvanus
St Pope Silverio

Greek Martyrs of Rome – (9 saints): Several Greek Christians martyred in the persecutions of Valerian – Adria, Aurelia, Eusebius, Hippolytus, Marcellus, Mary Martana, Maximus, Neon and Paulina. They were martyred by various means between 254 and 259 in Rome, Italy and are buried in the Callistus catacombs, Rome.

Martyrs of Africa – (4 saints): Four Christians martyred in Africa in the persecutions of Arian Vandals – Januarius, Securus, Severus and Victorinus.

Posted in ArchAngels and Angels, FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on HEAVEN, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 October – ‘ … They help each of us … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 2 October – The Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels, Readings: Baruch 4: 5-12, 27-29; Psalm 69: 33-37; Matthew 18: 1-5, 10

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” – Matthew 18:10

REFLECTION – “For just as the Lord commands that unbelieving and treacherous persons who are a stumbling block to the body of the church should be cut off or plucked out, so He also warns us, not to despise any of the little children, that is, humble people in the faithful who simply and faithfully believe in the Son of God. For it is not right to despise anyone who believes in Christ. A believer is called, not only a servant of God but also a son, though the grace of adoption, to whom the Kingdom of Heaven and the company of the Angels is promised. And rightly the Lord adds, “For I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.

How much grace the Lord has toward each one believing in Him, He Himself declares when He shows their Angels always beholding the face of the Father who is in Heaven. Great is the grace of the Angels toward all who believe in Christ. Finally, the Angels carry their prayers to heaven. Hence the word of Raphael to Tobias: “When you prayed along with your daughter-in-law Sara, I offered the memory of your prayer in the sight of God.” Around them there is also the strong guard of the Angels; they help each of us to be free from the traps of the enemy. For a human in his weakness could not be safe amid so many forceful attacks of that enemy, if he were not strengthened by the help of the Angels.” – St Chromatius of Aquileia (Died 407) Bishop of Aquileia, Contemporary of St Jerome, St John Chrysostom (Tractate on Matthew, 57)

PRAYER – Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom God’s love commits thee here.
Ever this day, be at my side,
to light, to guard, to rule, to guide.
Amen.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The HOLY NAME, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 March – “The house was filled with the odour of the ointment.” – John 12:3

One Minute Reflection – 29 March – Monday of Holy Week, Readings: First: Isaiah 42: 1-7, Psalm: Psalms 27: 1, 2, 3, 13-14, Gospel: John 12: 1-11

“The house was filled with the odour of the ointment.” – John 12:3

REFLECTION – “When she had anointed the Lord’s feet this woman did not wipe them with a cloth but with her own hair, to show Him greater honour … Like a thirsty person drinking from a fresh waterfall, this holy woman drank in grace full of delights, from the Springs of Holiness, to quench the thirst of her faith.

However, in the allegorical or mystical sense, this woman prefigured the Church, which offered the full and entire devotion of it’s faith to Christ …There are twelve ounces to a pound and this is the amount of perfume the Church possesses, having received the teaching of the twelve Apostles, as if it were a precious perfume. Indeed, what more precious is there than the Apostles’ teaching, which contains both faith in Christ and the glory of the Kingdom of heaven? Furthermore, it is related that the whole house was filled with the scent of that perfume because, the whole world has been filled with the Apostles’ teaching. As it is written: “Through all the earth their voice resounds and to the ends of the world, their message” (Ps 19[18]:5).

In the Song of Songs we read the following words addressed through Solomon, to the Church: “Your name spoken is a spreading perfume” (1,2). Not without cause, is the Lord’s name called a “spreading perfume.” As you know, so long as perfume is preserved inside it’s flask, it keeps it’s fragrance but, as soon as is poured out or emptied, it spreads out its fragrant scent. Even so, so long as our Lord and Saviour reigned with His Father in heaven, the world was unaware of Him, He was unknown here below. But when, for our salvation, He deigned to humble Himself, by descending from heaven, to take on a human body, then He spread abroad in the world, the sweetness and perfume of His Name.“ St Chromatius of Aquilaea (c 407) – Bishop of Aquileia, Italy, Theologian, Exegete – Sermon 11

PRAYER – Lord our God, Your Son so loved the world that He gave Himself up to death for our sake. Strengthen us by Your grace and give us a heart willing to live by that same love. With Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mother of Jesus and our Mother, may we stand at His Cross. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever, amen.

Saint of the Day – 2 December – Saint Chromatius of Aquileia (Died c 407) Bishop of Aquileia, Theologian, Exegete, Writer and friend of St Ambrose and Jerome, defender of St John Chrysostom. Chromatius opposed Arianism with much zeal and rooted it out in his Diocese.
His life herehttps://anastpaul.com/2020/12/02/saint-of-the-day-2-december-saint-chromatius-of-aquileia-died-c-407/

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 2 December – Saint Chromatius of Aquileia (Died c 407)

Saint of the Day – 2 December – Saint Chromatius of Aquileia (Died c 407) Bishop of Aquileia, Theologian, Exegete, Writer and friend of St Ambrose and Jerome, defender of St John Chrysostom. Chromatius opposed Arianism with much zeal and rooted it out in his Diocese.

Chromatius was brought up in the city of Aquileia, at the head of the Adriatic Sea. In all likelihood, he was born here as well. His father died when he was young and he lived with his mother, older brother and unmarried sisters. His mother had the good opinion of St Jerome, which the Saint expressed in a letter to her, quoted below, in 374. His brother, Eusebius, also became a Bishop and he is also a Saint. Chromatius, had learned at home to know and love Christ. Jerome himself spoke of this in terms full of admiration and compared Chromatius’ mother to the Prophetess Anna, his two sisters to the Wise Virgins of the Gospel Parable and Chromatius himself and his brother Eusebius, to the young Samuel (cf. Ep. VII: PL XXII, 341). Jerome wrote further of Chromatius and Eusebius: “Blessed Chromatius and St Eusebius were brothers by blood, no less than by the identity of their ideals” (Ep. VIII: PL XXII, 342).

After his ordination, Chromatius took part in the synod against Arianism in 381. On the death of St Valerian in 388, he was elected Bishop of Aquileia and became one of the most distinguished prelates of his time. After receiving episcopal ordination from Bishop Ambrose, he dedicated himself courageously and energetically to an immense task because of the vast territory entrusted to his pastoral care – the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Aquileia, in fact, stretched from the present-day territories of Switzerland, Bavaria, Austria and Slovenia, as far as Hungary.

How well known and highly esteemed Chromatius was in the Church of his time, we can deduce from an episode in the life of St John Chrysostom. When the Bishop of Constantinople was exiled from his See, he wrote three letters to those he considered the most important Bishops of the Wes,t seeking to obtain their support with the Emperors – he wrote one letter to the Bishop of Rome, the second to the Bishop of Milan and the third to the Bishop of Aquileia. Those were difficult times also for Chromatius because of the precarious political situation.

Situated at one of the busiest crossroads of the Roman Empire, Aquileia was a major center of trade and commerce. Under Chromatius’ care, guidance and influence, it also became renowned as a centre of learning and orthodoxy. He baptised the monk, theologian and historian, Rufinus in his early manhood.

He kept up an extensive correspondence with both Sts Ambrose and Jerome and also with Rufinus. A scholarly theologian himself, Chromatius encouraged the Bishop of Milan to write exegetical works and also supported St Jerome in his own writings. He helped St Heliodorus of Altino to finance St Jerome’s translation of the Bible. It was also owing to Chromatius’ encouragement that Rufinus undertook the translation of Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History and other works.

In the bitter quarrel between St Jerome and Rufinus concerning Origenism, Chromatius, while rejecting the false doctrines of Origen of Alexandria, attempted to make peace between the disputants.

St Sebastian and St Chromatius

“Chromatius was a wise teacher and a zealous shepherd. His first and main commitment was to listen to the Word, to be able to subsequently proclaim it – he always based his teaching on the Word of God and constantly returned to it. Certain subjects are particularly dear to him – first of all, the Trinitarian mystery, which he contemplated in its revelation throughout the history of salvation.
Then, the theme of the Holy Spirit – Chromatius constantly reminds the faithful of the presence and action, in the life of the Church, of the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity. But the holy Bishop returned with special insistence to the mystery of Christ. The Incarnate Word is true God and true man – He took on humanity in its totality to endow it with His own divinity. These truths, which he also reaffirmed explicitly in order to counter Arianism, were to end, up about 50 years later in the definition of the Council of Chalcedon. The heavy emphasis on Christ’s human nature led Chromatius to speak of the Virgin Mary. His Mariological doctrine is clear and precise. To him we owe evocative descriptions of the Virgin Most Holy – Mary is the “evangelical Virgin capable of accepting God”; she is the “immaculate and inviolate ewe lamb” who conceived the “Lamb clad in purple” (cf. Sermo XXIII, 3: Scrittori dell’area santambrosiana 3/1, p. 134). The Bishop of Aquileia often compares the Virgin with the Church – both, in fact, are “virgins” and “mothers.” Chromatius developed his ecclesiology above all in his commentary on Matthew. These are some of the recurring concept -: the Church is one, she is born from the Blood of Christ; she is a precious garment woven by the Holy Spirit; the Church is where the fact that Christ was born of a Virgin is proclaimed, where brotherhood and harmony flourish. One image of which Chromatius is especially fond is that of the ship in a storm – and his were stormy times, as we have heard: “There is no doubt,” the Holy Bishop says, “that this ship represents the Church” (cf. Tractatus XLII, 5: Scrittori dell’area santambrosiana 3/2, p. 260).

St Chromatius preaching

… Let us include an exhortation of Chromatius which is still perfectly applicable today: “Let us pray to the Lord with all our heart and with all our faith,” the Bishop of Aquileia recommends in one of his Sermons, “let us pray to Him to deliver us from all enemy incursions, from all fear of adversaries. Do not look at our merits but at His mercy, at Him ,who also in the past deigned to set the Children of Israel free, not for their own merits but through His mercy. May He protect us with His customary merciful love and bring about for us, what holy Moses said to the Children of Israel – The Lord will fight to defend you and you will be silent. It is He who fights, it is He who wins the victory…. And so that He may condescend to do so, we must pray as much as possible. He himself said, in fact, through the mouth of the prophet – Call on me on the day of tribulation; I will set you free and you will give me glory” (Sermo XVI, 4: Scrittori dell’area santambrosiana 3/2, pp. 100-102).

Thus, at the very beginning of the Advent Season, St Chromatius reminds us that Advent is a time of prayer in which it is essential to enter into contact with God. God knows us, He knows me, He knows each one of us, He loves me, He will not abandon me. Let us go forward with this trust in the liturgical season that has just begun.” (QUOTE – Pope Benedict XVI General Audience, 5 December 2007).

Chromatius was also an active exegete. Seventeen of his treatises on St Matthew’s Gospel survive, as well as a fine homily on the Eight Beatitudes. In all likelihood, Chromatius died in exile, in Grado, while he was attempting to escape the incursions of the Barbarians in 407, the same year in which St Chrysostom also died.

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Feast of Our Lady of Liesse/Our Lady, Cause of our Joy and Memorials of the Saints – 2 December

Our Lady of Liesse/Our Lady, Cause of our Joy: 2 December – An ancient statue of the Madonna and Child. It was brought from Egypt to France during the Crusades by three Knights of Malta who had been briefly captured by Saracens. It was enshrined at Liesse, diocese of Soissons. The original statue was destroyed during the French Revolution. A duplicate was installed and crowned in 1857. Patronage – Diocese of Soissons, France.

St Athanasius of the Caves
St Avitas of Rouen
St Bibiana (4th century died c 361) Martyr
Biography here:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/saint-of-the-day-2-december/

St Chromatius of Aquileia (Died c 407) Bishop
St Evasius of Brescia
Bl Francisco del Valle Villar
St Habakkuk the Prophet
Bl Ivan Sleziuk
Bl John Amero
Bl Jan van Ruysbroec (c 1293-1382)
About Blessed Jan:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/02/saint-of-the-day-2-december-blessed-john-van-ruysbroeck/
St Lupus of Verona
Bl Maria Angela Astorch
St Nonnus of Edessa
St Oderisius de Marsi
St Pimenio in Rome
St Pontian
Bl Rafal Chylinski OFM Conv (1694-1741)
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/02/saint-of-the-day-2-december-blessed-rafal-chylinski-ofm-conv-1694-1741/

Bl Robert of Matallana
St Silvanus
St Pope Silverio

Greek Martyrs of Rome – (9 saints): Several Greek Christians martyred in the persecutions of Valerian – Adria, Aurelia, Eusebius, Hippolytus, Marcellus, Mary Martana, Maximus, Neon and Paulina. They were martyred by various means between 254 and 259 in Rome, Italy and are buried in the Callistus catacombs, Rome.

Martyrs of Africa – (4 saints): Four Christians martyred in Africa in the persecutions of Arian Vandals – Januarius, Securus, Severus and Victorinus.

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 13 June – ‘Do not swear …’

One Minute Reflection – 13 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Saturday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Kings 19:19-21, Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-10, Matthew 5:33-37 and the Memorial of St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church

“Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black.” … Matthew 5:36

REFLECTION – “These words of the Lord whereby He forbids us to swear by these different elements, invites a double explanation.  Firstly, He wanted to draw us away from the use of oaths and the customs of human error, lest each of us through swearing by these elements, accord a creature the honour of divine veneration or, believe one has impunity in swearing falsely, if one swears by the elements of the world.

It can also be explained in this way – When one swears by heaven and earth, one swears by Him who made heaven and earth, as the Lord Himself declared elsewhere:  “He who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things that are on it and, he who swears by the temple, swears by it and by him who dwells in it.”   Jesus goes on to say, “nor by Jerusalem,” for it is the city of the great King, that is, the symbol of Christ’s body, which is the spiritual and heavenly church.   “Neither shall you swear,” he says, “by your head,” for according to the apostle, “the head of every man is Christ.”   Therefore, the one who swears by these things makes reference to Him who is the author of all these things.” … St Chromatius of Aquileia (Died 407) Bishop, Theologian, Defender of the Faith against Arianism, Friend and supporter of St Jerome, St John Chrysostom, St AmbroseTractate on Matthew 24)matthew 5 36 do not swear - he wanted to draw us away - st chromatius of aquilea 13 june 2020

PRAYER – Almighty, everliving God, You gave St Anthony of Padua to Your people as a preacher and teacher and a patron in their needs. Grant that we may learn from his words inspired by Your Holy Spirit and by his prayers, grow in faith, hope and humility.   We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all-glorious God, now and forever, amen.st-anthony-pray-for-us-13-june-2017 AND 13 JUNE 2020