Posted in CATECHESIS, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The LAST THINGS

Thought for the Day – 9 May – The Eucharist, Pledge of our Resurrection

Thought for the Day – 9 May – Thursday Third Week of Easter, C

The Eucharist, Pledge of our Resurrection

Saint Irenaeus (130-202)
Bishop, Father of the Church and Martyr

An excerpt from a Against Heresies

If our flesh is not saved, then the Lord has not redeemed us with His blood, the Eucharistic chalice does not make us sharers in His blood and the bread we break, does not make us sharers in His body.   There can be no blood without veins, flesh and the rest of the human substance and this the Word of God actually became – it was with His own blood that He redeemed us.   As the Apostle says – In Him, through His blood, we have been redeemed, our sins have been forgiven.

We are His members and we are nourished by creatures, which is His gift to us, for it is He who causes the sun to rise and the rain to fall.   He declared that the chalice, which comes from His creation, was His blood and He makes it the nourishment of our blood. He affirmed that the bread, which comes from His creation, was His body and He makes it, the nourishment of our body.   When the chalice we mix and the bread we bake, receive the Word of God, the Eucharistic elements become the body and blood of Christ, by which our bodies, live and grow.   How then can it be said, that flesh belonging to the Lord’s own body and nourished by His body and blood, is incapable of receiving God’s gift of eternal life?   Saint Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians that we are members of His body, of His flesh and bones.   He is not speaking of some spiritual and incorporeal kind of man, for spirits do not have flesh and bones.   He is speaking of a real human body composed of flesh, sinews and bones, nourished by the chalice of Christ’s blood and receiving growth from the bread which is His body.

The slip of a vine planted in the ground bears fruit at the proper time.   The grain of wheat falls into the ground and decays only to be raised up again and multiplied by the Spirit of God who sustains all things.   The Wisdom of God places these things at the service of man and when they receive God’s word, they become the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ.   In the same way our bodies, which have been nourished by the Eucharist, will be buried in the earth and will decay but they will rise again at the appointed time, for the Word of God will raise them up, to the glory of God the Father. Then the Father will clothe our mortal nature in immortality and freely endow our corruptible nature with incorruptibility, for God’s power is shown most perfectly in weakness.we are his members and we are nourished - st ireneus on the eucharist and resurrection 9 may 2019.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The LAMB of GOD

Our Morning Offering – 9 April – O Lamb of God

Our Morning Offering – 9 April – Tuesday of the Fifth week of Lent

O Lamb of God
By St Irenaeus (c 135- c 202)
Bishop & Martyr, Father of the Church

O Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world,
look upon us and have mercy upon us;
You who art Yourself, both victim and Priest,
Yourself, both Reward and Redeemer,
keep safe from all evil
those whom You have redeemed,
O Saviour of the world.
Ameno-lamb-of-god-st-irenaeus-of-lyons-28-june-2018.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on MERCY, SAINT of the DAY, SPEAKING of .....

Quote/s of the Day – 17 November – The Memorial of St Elizabeth of Hungary – Apostle of Charity (1207-1231) – Speaking of: Charity/Mercy

Quote/s of the Day – 17 November – The Memorial of St Elizabeth of Hungary – Apostle of Charity (1207-1231)
Speaking of:  Charity/Mercy

As long as anyone has the means
of doing good to his neighbours
and does not do so,
he shall be reckoned a stranger
to the love of the Lord.

St Irenaeus (130-202) Father of the Churchas-long-as-anyone-has-the-means-st-irenaeus-8-oct-2018-speaking-of-seeking-the-good-samaritan

“Mercy imitates God and disappoints Satan.”mercy imittes god - st john chrysostom - 17 nov 2018

“No one has ever been accused for not providing ornaments
but for those who neglect their neighbour,
a hell awaits with an inextinguishable fire
and torment in the company of the demons.
Do not, therefore, adorn the church
and ignore your afflicted brother,
for he is the most precious temple of all.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Churchno-one-has-ever-st-john-chrysostom-16-jan-2018

“Compassion, my dear Brother,
is preferable to cleanliness.
Reflect that with a little soap,
I can easily clean my bed covers
but even with a torrent of tears,
I would never wash from my soul,
the stain, that my harshness toward
the unfortunate would create.”

St Martin de Porres (1579-1639)compassion-my-dear-brother-st-martin-de-porres-3-nov-2018

“All our religion is but a false religion
and all our virtues are mere illusions
and we ourselves are only hypocrites
in the sight of God,
if we have not that universal charity for everyone –
for the good and for the bad,
for the poor and for the rich
and for all those who do us harm,
as much as those who do us good.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)all-our-religion-is-but-a-false-religion-st-john-vianney-4-aug-2018

“Any friend of the poor, is a friend of God.”

Blessed John Sullivan SJ (1861-1933)any-friend-of-the-poor-is-a-friend-of-god-bl-john-sullivan-19-feb-2018

Posted in CATECHESIS, DIVINE MERCY, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, MARIAN QUOTES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on TRUTH, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The LAST THINGS

Quote/s of the Day – 28 June – The Memorial of St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church

Quote/s of the Day – 28 June – The Memorial of St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church

“Our way of thinking,
is attuned to the Eucharist
and the Eucharist in turn,
confirms our way of thinking.”our-way-of-thinking-st-irenaeus-28 june 2018

“Jesus Christ, in His infinite love,
has become what we are,
in order that He may make us
entirely what He is.”jesus christ in his infinite love - st irenaeus - 28 june 2018

“It is not you that shapes God.
It is God that shapes you.
If then you are the work of God
await the Hand of the artist who does
all things in due season.
Offer Him your heart,
soft and tractable
and keep the form in which the artist
has fashioned you.
Let the clay be moist
lest you go hard
and lose the imprint of His Fingers.”it-is-not-you-that-shapes-god-strenaeus-28 june 2018

“As long as anyone has the means
of doing good to his neighbours
and does not do so,
he shall be reckoned a stranger
to the love of the Lord.”as-long-as-any-one-has-the-means-st-irenaeus-28 june 2018.no.2

The business of the Christian
is nothing else but to be
ever preparing for death.the business of the christian - st irenaeus - 28 june 2018

“The universal Church, that is, the faithful everywhere, must be in agreement with this Church because of her outstanding superiority.”

the universal church - st irenaeus

“Being obedient she (Mary)
became the cause of salvation for herself
and for the whole human race.
The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied
by Mary’s obedience:
what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief,
Mary loosened by her faith.”

St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202)being-obedient-st-irenaeus-28 june 2018 - no 2

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The INCARNATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 June

One Minute Reflection – 28 June – The Memorial of St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church – Today’s Readings: 2 Kings 24:8-17, Psalm 79:1-5, 8-9, Matthew 7:21-29

Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name; deliver us and forgive our sins, for thy name’s sake!…Psalm 79(78):9

REFLECTION – “For this is why the Word became man and the Son of God became the Son of man – so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.”… St Irenaeushelp us o god of our salvation - psalm 79 or 78 - 9 - for this is why the word became man - st irenaeus - 28 june 2018

PRAYER – Grant us Lord, a true knowledge of salvation, so that, freed from fear and from the power of our foes, we may serve You faithfully, according to Your Word, all the days of our life.   Grant that by the prayers of St Irenaeus, we may always work for the truth, for unity and for love and peace.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever, amen.st irenaeus - pray for us - 28 june 2018

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 28 June – The Memorial of St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church

Our Morning Offering – 28 June – The Memorial of St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church

O Lamb of God
By St Irenaeus

O Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world,
look upon us and have mercy upon us;
You who art Yourself, both victim and Priest,
Yourself, both Reward and Redeemer,
keep safe from all evil
those whom You have redeemed,
O Saviour of the world.
Ameno lamb of god - st irenaeus of lyons - 28 june 2018

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, PAPAL HOMILIES, SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day – 28 June – St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church

Saint of the Day – 28 June – St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church, Bishop, Theologian, Writer, Confessor, Defender of the Faith, Apologist.  St Irenaeus was born in c130 in Smyrna, Asia Minor (modern Izmir, Turkey) and is presumed to have been martyred in c 202 in Lyons, France.

Catechesis of Pope Benedict XVI on St Irenaeus of Lyon

General Audience, Wednesday, 28 March 2007

In the Catechesis on the prominent figures of the early Church, today we come to the eminent personality of St Irenaeus of Lyons.   The biographical information on him comes from his own testimony, handed down to us by Eusebius in his fifth book on Church History.a crash course on st irenaeus mem 28 june

Irenaeus was, in all probability, born in Smyrna (today, Izmir in Turkey) in about 135-140, where in his youth, he attended the school of Bishop Polycarp, a disciple in his turn of the Apostle John.   We do not know when he moved from Asia Minor to Gaul but his move must have coincided with the first development of the Christian community in Lyons, here, in 177, we find Irenaeus listed in the college of presbyters.   In that very year, he was sent to Rome, bearing a letter from the community in Lyons, to Pope Eleutherius.   His mission to Rome saved Irenaeus from the persecution of Marcus Aurelius which took a toll of at least 48 martyrs, including the 90-year old Bishop Pontinus of Lyons, who died from ill-treatment in prison.   Thus, on his return, Irenaeus was appointed Bishop of the city.   The new Pastor devoted himself without reserve to his episcopal ministry which ended in about 202-203, perhaps with martyrdom.snip - st irenaeus

Irenaeus was first and foremost a man of faith and a Pastor.   Like a good Pastor, he had a good sense of proportion, a wealth of doctrine and missionary enthusiasm.   As a writer, he pursued a twofold aim, to defend true doctrine from the attacks of heretics and to explain the truth of the faith clearly.   His two extant works – the five books of The Detection and Overthrow of the False Gnosis and Demonstration of the Apostolic Teaching (which can also be called the oldest “catechism of Christian doctrine”) – exactly corresponded with these aims.   In short, Irenaeus can be defined as the champion in the fight against heresies.

The second-century Church was threatened by the so-called Gnosis, a doctrine which affirmed that the faith taught in the Church was merely a symbolism for the simple who were unable to grasp difficult concepts, instead, the initiates, the intellectuals – Gnostics, they were called – claimed to understand what was behind these symbols and thus formed an elitist and intellectualist Christianity. Obviously, this intellectual Christianity became increasingly fragmented, splitting into different currents with ideas that were often bizarre and extravagant, yet attractive to many.   One element these different currents had in common was “dualism” – they denied faith in the one God and Father of all, Creator and Saviour of man and of the world.   To explain evil in the world, they affirmed the existence, besides the Good God, of a negative principle.   This negative principle was supposed to have produced material things, matter.

Firmly rooted in the biblical doctrine of creation, Irenaeus refuted the Gnostic dualism and pessimism which debased corporeal realities.   He decisively claimed the original holiness of matter, of the body, of the flesh no less than of the spirit.   But his work went far beyond the confutation of heresy, in fact, one can say, that he emerges as the first great Church theologian who created systematic theology, he himself speaks of the system of theology, that is, of the internal coherence of all faith.   At the heart of his doctrine is the question of the “rule of faith” and its transmission.   For Irenaeus, the “rule of faith” coincided in practice with the Apostles’ Creed, which gives us the key for interpreting the Gospel, for interpreting the Creed in light of the Gospel.   The Creed, which is a sort of Gospel synthesis, helps us understand what it means and how we should read the Gospel itself.st irenaeus glass detail snip face

In fact, the Gospel preached by Irenaeus is the one he was taught by Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, and Polycarp’s Gospel dates back to the Apostle John, whose disciple Polycarp was.
The true teaching, therefore, is not that invented by intellectuals which goes beyond the Church’s simple faith.   The true Gospel is the one imparted by the Bishops who received it in an uninterrupted line from the Apostles.   They taught nothing except this simple faith, which is also the true depth of God’s revelation.   Thus, Irenaeus tells us, there is no secret doctrine concealed in the Church’s common Creed.   There is no superior Christianity for intellectuals.   The faith publicly confessed by the Church is the common faith of all.   This faith alone is apostolic, it is handed down from the Apostles, that is, from Jesus and from God.   In adhering to this faith, publicly transmitted by the Apostles to their successors, Christians must observe what their Bishops say and must give special consideration to the teaching of the Church of Rome, pre-eminent and very ancient.   It is because of her antiquity that this Church has the greatest apostolicity; in fact, she originated in Peter and Paul, pillars of the Apostolic College.   All Churches must agree with the Church of Rome, recognising in her the measure of the true Apostolic Tradition, the Church’s one common faith.st-irenaeus-3

With these arguments, summed up very briefly here, Irenaeus refuted the claims of these Gnostics, these intellectuals, from the start.   First of all, they possessed no truth superior to that of the ordinary faith, because what they said was not of apostolic origin, it was invented by them.   Secondly, truth and salvation are not the privilege or monopoly of the few but are available to all through the preaching of the Successors of the Apostles, especially of the Bishop of Rome.   In particular – once again disputing the “secret” character of the Gnostic tradition and noting its multiple and contradictory results – Irenaeus was concerned to describe the genuine concept of the Apostolic Tradition which we can sum up here in three points.

a) Apostolic Tradition is “public”, not private or secret.   Irenaeus did not doubt that the content of the faith transmitted by the Church is that received from the Apostles and from Jesus, the Son of God.   There is no other teaching than this.   Therefore, for anyone who wishes to know true doctrine, it suffices to know “the Tradition passed down by the Apostles and the faith proclaimed to men” –  a tradition and faith that “have come down to us through the succession of Bishops” (Adversus Haereses, 3, 3, 3-4).   Hence, the succession of Bishops, the personal principle and Apostolic Tradition, the doctrinal principle, coincide.

b) Apostolic Tradition is “one”.   Indeed, whereas Gnosticism was divided into multiple sects, Church Tradition is one in its fundamental content, which – as we have seen – Irenaeus calls precisely regula fidei or veritatis –  and thus, because it is one, it creates unity through the peoples, through the different cultures, through the different peoples; it is a common content like the truth, despite the diversity of languages and cultures.   A very precious saying of St Irenaeus is found in his book Adversus Haereses:  “The Church, though dispersed throughout the world… having received [this faith from the Apostles]… as if occupying but one house, carefully preserves it.   She also believes these points [of doctrine] just as if she had but one soul and one and the same heart and she proclaims them and teaches them and hands them down with perfect harmony, as if she possessed only one mouth.   For, although the languages of the world are dissimilar, yet the import of the tradition is one and the same.   For the Churches which have been planted in Germany do not believe or hand down anything different, nor do those in Spain, nor those in Gaul, nor those in the East, nor those in Egypt, nor those in Libya, nor those which have been established in the central regions of the world” (1, 10, 1-2).   Already at that time – we are in the year 200 – it was possible to perceive the Church’s universality, her catholicity and the unifying power of the truth that unites these very different realities, from Germany, to Spain, to Italy, to Egypt, to Libya, in the common truth revealed to us by Christ.

c) Lastly, the Apostolic Tradition, as he says in the Greek language in which he wrote his book, is “pneumatic”, in other words, spiritual, guided by the Holy Spirit, in Greek, the word for “spirit” is “pneuma”.   Indeed, it is not a question of a transmission entrusted to the ability of more or less learned people but to God’s Spirit, who guarantees fidelity to the transmission of the faith.
This is the “life” of the Church, what makes the Church ever young and fresh, fruitful with multiple charisms.

For Irenaeus, Church and Spirit were inseparable:  “This faith”, we read again in the third book of Adversus Haereses, “which, having been received from the Church, we do preserve and which always, by the Spirit of God, renewing its youth as if it were some precious deposit in an excellent vessel, causes the vessel itself containing it, to renew its youth also…. For where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church and every kind of grace” (3, 24, 1).st irenaeus beautiful glass detail snip

As can be seen, Irenaeus did not stop at defining the concept of Tradition.   His tradition, uninterrupted Tradition, is not traditionalism, because this Tradition is always enlivened from within by the Holy Spirit, who makes it live anew, causes it to be interpreted and understood in the vitality of the Church.   Adhering to her teaching, the Church should transmit the faith in such a way that it must be what it appears, that is, “public”, “one”, “pneumatic”, “spiritual”.   Starting with each one of these characteristics, a fruitful discernment can be made of the authentic transmission of the faith in the today of the Church.

More generally, in Irenaeus’ teaching, the dignity of man, body and soul, is firmly anchored in divine creation, in the image of Christ and in the Spirit’s permanent work of sanctification.   This doctrine is like a “high road” in order to discern together with all people of good will, the object and boundaries of the dialogue of values and to give an ever new impetus to the Church’s missionary action, to the force of the truth, which is the source of all true values in the world.Irenæus_af_Lyon_Frederikskirken

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 28 June

St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 130 – c 202) (Memorial)

Bl Almus of Balmerino
St Argymirus of Córdoba
St Attilio of Trino
St Austell of Cornwall
St Benignus of Utrecht
St Crummine
Bl Damian of Campania
St Egilo
St Heimrad
St John Southworth
St Lupercio
St Papias the Martyr
St Pope Paul I
Bl Teresa Maria Mastena
St Theodichildis
St Vincentia Gerosa

Martyrs of Africa – 27 saints: 27 Christians martyred together. The only details about them to survive are the names – Afesius, Alexander, Amfamon, Apollonius, Arion, Capitolinus, Capitulinus, Crescens, Dionusius, Dioscorus, Elafa, Eunuchus, Fabian, Felix, Fisocius, Gurdinus, Hinus, Meleus, Nica, Nisia, Pannus, Panubrius, Plebrius, Pleosus, Theoma, Tubonus and Venustus. Unknown location in Africa, date unknown.

Martyrs of Alexandria – 8 saints: A group of spiritual students of Origen who were martyred together in the persecutions of emperor Septimius Severus – Heraclides, Heron, Marcella, Plutarch, Potamiaena the Elder, Rhais, Serenus and Serenus. They were burned to death c.206 in Alexandria, Egypt.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SPEAKING of ....., The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quotes of the Day – 15 April – The Third Sunday of Easter Year B “Speaking of the Holy Mass”

Quotes of the Day – 15 April – The Third Sunday of Easter Year B

“Speaking of the Holy Mass”

“Recognise in this bread what hung on the cross
and in this chalice what flowed from His side…
whatever was in many and varied ways
announced beforehand in the sacrifices
of the Old Testament
pertains to this one sacrifice
which is revealed in the New Testament.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctorrecognise in this bread what hung - st augustine - 15 april 2018

“Jesus taught a new sacrifice
which the Church received
from the Apostles and offers
throughout the whole world.”

St Irenaeus (130-202) Father of the Churchjesus taught a new sacrifice - st irenaeus - 15 april 2018

“All the good works in the world
are not equal to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
because they are the works of men – 
but the Mass is the work of God.
Martyrdom is nothing in comparison,
for it is but the sacrifice of man to God – 
but the Mass is the sacrifice of God for man.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)all the good works in the world are not equal - st john vianney - 15 april 2018

“Many Christians take their time
and have leisure enough in their social life
(no hurry here).
They are leisurely, too, in their professional activities,
at table and recreation (no hurry here either).
But isn’t it strange, how those same Christians.
find themselves in such a rush
and want to hurry the priest,
in their anxiety to shorten the time devoted
to the most holy sacrifice of the altar?

St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)many christians take their time - st josemaria - 15 april 2018

 

 

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 22 February – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter

Quote/s of the Day – 22 February – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter

“The universal Church, that is,
the faithful everywhere, must be
in agreement with this Church
because of her outstanding superiority.”

St Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (130-202) Father of the Churchthe universal church - st irenaeus - 22 feb 2018

“He who deserts the
Chair of Peter, upon whom
the Church was founded,
does he trust himself
to be IN the Church?”

(De Catholicae Ecclesiae Unitate, 251)

St Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage and Martyr (200-258) Father of the Churchhe who deserts the chair of peter - st cyprian - 22 feb 2018

 

 

Posted in ADVENT, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 19 December – Tuesday of Gaudete Week

Thought for the Day – 19 December – Tuesday of Gaudete Week

St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 130-202) on the Incarnation, the Word of God born for us as Emmanuel, Jesus Christ, Son of Man, the sign of our salvation.   He comes to restore God’s likeness in us and lead us to glory.

God is man’s glory.   Man is the vessel which receives God’s action and all his wisdom and power.

Just as a doctor is judged in his care for the sick, so God is revealed in his conduct with men.   That is Paul’s reason for saying:   God has made the whole world prisoner of unbelief that he may have mercy on all.   He was speaking of man, who was disobedient to God and cast off from immortality and then found mercy, receiving through the Son of God the adoption he brings.

If man, without being puffed up or boastful, has a right belief regarding created things and their divine Creator, who, having given them being, holds them all in his power and if man perseveres in God’s love and in obedience and gratitude to him, he will receive greater glory from him.   It will be a glory which will grow ever brighter until he takes on the likeness of the one who died for him.

He it was who took on the likeness of sinful flesh, to condemn sin and rid the flesh of sin, as now condemned.   He wanted to invite man to take on his likeness, appointing man an imitator of God, establishing man in a way of life in obedience to the Father that would lead to the vision of God and endowing man with power to receive the Father.   He is the Word of God who dwelt with man and became the Son of Man to open the way for man to receive God, for God to dwell with man, according to the will of the Father.

For this reason the Lord himself gave as the sign of our salvation, the one who was born of the Virgin, Emmanuel.  It was the Lord himself who saved them, for of themselves they had no power to be saved.   For this reason Paul speaks of the weakness of man and says:  I know that no good dwells in my flesh, meaning that the blessing of our salvation comes not from us but from God.   Again, he says: I am a wretched man;  who will free me from this body doomed to die?   Then he speaks of a liberator, thanks to Jesus Christ our Lord.

Isaiah says the same:  Hands that are feeble, grow strong!   Knees that are weak, take courage!   Hearts that are faint, grow strong!   Fear not; see, our God is judgement and he will repay.   He himself will come and save us.   He means that we could not be saved of ourselves but only with God’s help.

This excerpt from St Irenaeus’ monumental work, Against Heresies (Lib 3,20, 2-3; SC 34, 342-344) speaks of the incarnation, the birth of the Word of God as Son of Man, as the sign of our salvation.   It is used in the Roman Office of Readings for 19 December one of the last days of Advent.   It was originally written around 185 AD.

St Irenaeus of Lyons
Born about 130, St Irenaeus was one of the most important of the Early Church Fathers of the 2nd Century.   His life reveals the cosmopolitan nature of the Roman Empire at the height of its power.   Though Irenaeus ultimately became bishop of what is now Lyons, in Southern France, he grew up and was educated in Smyrna, located in modern-day Turkey.   There Irenaeus had personal contact with St Polycarp, one of the Apostolic Fathers who in turn knew the Apostle John, son of Zebedee.   Before becoming bishop, Saint Irenaeus apparently studied in Rome where he was influenced by St Justin Martyr. His major work, Against Heresies, which appeared around the year 185 exposed the absurdities of the Gnostic cults of the day and included a strong presentation and defense of Catholic Christianity.   It is the earliest compendium of Christian theology surviving from ancient times and is the first work that cites virtually every book of the Christian writings that we now call the New Testament.   Irenaeus is said to have won the crown of martyrdom around the year 200 AD.   He is honoured in the Roman liturgy on 28 June.he is the word of god - st irenaeus - 19 dec 2017

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 June

One Minute Reflection – 28 June

Everyone who looks upon the Son
and believes in him shall have eternal life………….John 6:40

john 6-40

REFLECTION – “The Father made God visible to human beings through numerous mysteries to prevent them from losing everything – even their very lives. For the glory of God is the living person and the life of a person is the vision of God.”………..St Irenaeus – Father of the Church

the fathr made god visible-st irenaeus

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, You left us Your Church and Your Vicar the Holy Father our Pope, to insure our contact with You. Let me always cling to Your Church and follow its teachings in every detail and with all my heart. St Irenaeus, please pray for us all the members of Body of Christ, the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, amen.

st irenaeus - pray for us

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 28 June

Thought for the Day – 28 June

The Church is fortunate that St Irenaeus was involved in many of its controversies in the second century.   He was a student, well trained no doubt, with great patience in investigating, tremendously protective of apostolic teaching but prompted more by a desire to win over his opponents than to prove them in error.

As bishop of Lyons he was especially concerned with the Gnostics, who took their name from the Greek word for “knowledge.”   Claiming access to secret knowledge imparted by Jesus to only a few disciples, their teaching was attracting and confusing many Christians.   After thoroughly investigating the various Gnostic sects and their “secret,” Irenaeus showed to what logical conclusions their tenets led.   These he contrasted with the teaching of the apostles and the text of Holy Scripture, giving us, in five books, a system of theology of great importance to subsequent times.   Moreover, his work, widely used and translated into Latin and Armenian, gradually ended the influence of the Gnostics.

St Irenaeus’ deep and genuine concern for other people will remind us that the discovery of truth is not to be a victory for some and a defeat for others.   Unless all can claim a share in that victory, truth itself will continue to be rejected by the losers, because it will be regarded as inseparable from the yoke of defeat.   And so, confrontation, controversy and the like might yield to a genuine united search for God’s truth and how it can best be served……….Fr Don Miller, OFM

St Irenaeus pray for us all!

ST IRENAEUS PRAY FOR US

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 28 June

Our Morning Offering – 28 June

O Lamb of God
by St Irenaeus

O Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world,
look upon us and have mercy upon us;
You who art Yourself both victim and Priest,
Yourself both Reward and Redeemer,
keep safe from all evil
those whom You have redeemed,
O Saviour of the world.
Amen

o lamb of god by st irenaeus

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 28 June – St Irenaeus (c 130-202) Bishop Martyr

Saint of the Day – 28 June – St Irenaeus (c 130-202) – Bishop, Martyr & Father of the Church – (c 130 in Smyrna, Asia Minor (modern Izmir, Turkey) – martyred in 202 in Lyons, France)   His tomb and relics were destroyed by Calvinists in 1562 but his head is thought to be in Saint John’s church, Lyons, France.   Patronage – archdiocese of Mobile, Alabama.

Card_430-St-Irenaeus-front

St Irenaeus was born during the first half of the 2nd century (the exact date is disputed: between the years 115 and 125 according to some, or 130 and 142 according to others), and he is thought to have been a Greek from Polycarp’s hometown of Smyrna in Asia Minor, now İzmir, Turkey.    Unlike many of his contemporaries, he was brought up in a Christian family rather than converting as an adult.

During the persecution of Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor from 161–180, Irenaeus was a priest of the Church of Lyon.   The clergy of that city, many of whom were suffering imprisonment for the faith, sent him in 177 to Rome with a letter to Pope Eleuterus concerning the heresy Montanism and that occasion bore emphatic testimony to his merits.   While Irenaeus was in Rome, a massacre took place in Lyon.   Returning to Gaul, Irenaeus succeeded the martyr Saint Pothinus and became the second Bishop of Lyon.st-irenaeus-3

The new bishop divided his activities between the duties of a pastor and of a missionary (as to which we have but brief data, late and not very certain), during the religious peace which followed the persecution of Marcus Aurelius.   Almost all his writings were directed against Gnosticism.   The most famous of these writings is Adversus haereses (Against Heresies).

St Irenaeus linked the Church at the time of the twelve apostles and the Church of the second century.   He wrote and taught the faith handed on by the apostles and preserved it when it was attacked.   His chief concern was unity among the churches.st-irenaeus-2

The date of the death of Irenaeus is usually given as about the year 202/203.   According to a late tradition he suffered martyrdom under Septimius Severus.san-ireneo-de-lyon

 

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 23 February – St Polycarp of Smyrna

Saint of the Day – 23 February – St Polycarp of Smyrna – (69-156) – Martyr, Apostolic Church Father and Bishop of Smyrna, Writer, Preacher, Theologian – Patron against dysentery and earache.

Polycarp is regarded as a saint and Church Father in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches. His name ‘Polycarp’ means ‘much fruit’ in Greek.

It is recorded by Irenaeus, who heard him speak in his youth, and by Tertullian, that he had been a disciple of John the Apostle.    Saint Jerome wrote that Polycarp was a disciple of John and that John had ordained him bishop of Smyrna.

With Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp is regarded as one of three chief Apostolic Fathers.   The sole surviving work attributed to his authorship is his Letter to the Philippians; it is first recorded by Irenaeus of Lyons.

According to St Irenaeus, Polycarp was a companion of Papias, another “hearer of John” as Irenaeus interprets Papias’ testimony and a correspondent of Ignatius of Antioch.   Ignatius addressed a letter to him, and mentions him in his letters to the Ephesians and to the Magnesians.

Irenaeus regarded the memory of Polycarp as a link to the apostolic past. He relates how and when he became a Christian, and in his letter to Florinus stated that he saw and heard Polycarp personally in lower Asia. Irenaeus wrote to Florinus:

“I could tell you the place where the blessed Polycarp sat to preach the Word of God.   It is yet present to my mind with what gravity he everywhere came in and went out;  what was the sanctity of his deportment, the majesty of his countenance;  and what were his holy exhortations to the people.   I seem to hear him now relate how he conversed with John and many others who had seen Jesus Christ, the words he had heard from their mouths.”

In particular, he heard the account of Polycarp’s discussion with John and with others who had seen Jesus.   Irenaeus also reports that Polycarp was converted to Christianity by apostles, was consecrated a bishop and communicated with many who had seen Jesus.   He repeatedly emphasizes the very great age of Polycarp.   Polycarp kissed the chains of Ignatius when he passed by Smyrna on the road to Rome for his martyrdom.

Polycarp occupies an important place in the history of the early Christian Church.   He is among the earliest Christians whose writings survived.   Saint Jerome wrote that Polycarp was a “disciple of the apostle John and by him ordained bishop of Smyrna”.   He was an elder of an important congregation which was a large contributor to the founding of the Christian Church.
Irenaeus, who had heard him preach in his youth, said of him: “a man who was of much greater weight and a more steadfast witness of truth, than Valentinus and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics”. Polycarp had learned from apostle John to flee from those who change the divine truth. One day he met in the streets of Rome the heretic Marcion who, resenting that Polycarp did not greet him, said: “Do you know me?” The saint replied: “Yes, I know you, the first-born of Satan.”    Polycarp lived in an age after the deaths of the apostles, when a variety of interpretations of the sayings of Jesus were being preached.   His role was to authenticate orthodox teachings through his reputed connection with the apostle John: “a high value was attached to the witness Polycarp could give as to the genuine tradition of old apostolic doctrine”, Wace commented, “his testimony condemning as offensive novelties the figments of the heretical teachers”.   Irenaeus states (iii. 3) that on Polycarp’s visit to Rome, his testimony converted many disciples of Marcion and Valentinus.

The story of Polycarp’s martyrdom is the earliest recorded account of a Christian martyr. Polycarp was seized for being a Christian.   Persecution and death would not tear him away from Jesus now.   Polycarp was led into the stadium of Smyrna.   The crowd demanded that he be left to the lions, but instead he was sentenced to death by fire.   An eyewitness account claims that the flames didn’t harm him.   He was finally killed by the sword, and his body was burned.

The community of believers celebrated the anniversary of Polycarp’s death with great joy, for in him they had seen an outstanding example of love and patience.   He had held strong and had won the treasure of eternal life.   Polycarp is remembered as an Apostolic Father, one who was a disciple of the apostles.