Saint of the Day  – 7 July  – Saint Prosper of Aquitaine (c 390-c 465)

Saint of the Day  – 7 July  – Saint Prosper of Aquitaine (c 390-c 465) Theologian, Married Layman, Writer, disciple and friend of St Augustine (354-430). St Prosper was the first continuator of St Jerome’s Universal Chronicle. Born in c 390 in Aquitaine, France and died in c 465 in Rome, Italy, of natural causes. Also known as – Tiro Prosper or Prosper Tiro.

Prosper was a native of Aquitaine, France and may have been educated at Bordeaux. By 417 he arrived in Marseilles as a refugee from Aquitaine, in the aftermath of the Gothic invasions of Gaul.

We first meet Prosper definitively around 425 as a participant in the Pelagian controversy which rocked the Church in southern France. Pelagian heretics minimised the role of grace in the first steps of becoming a Christian. Many vigorously opposed St Augustine’s strict views that special grace was required for salvation and thus, many were predestined to damnation. Prosper, a lay theologian, championed St Augustine. And in 428, a letter from Prosper prompted Augustine to write a major work on predestination.

Although a layman, Prosper threw himself with ardour into the religious controversies of his day, defending St Augustine and propagating orthodoxy. In his De vocatione omnium gentium – “The Call of all Nations,”, in which the issues of the call to the Gentiles is discussed, in the light of Augustine’s doctrine of Grace, Prosper appears as the first of the medieval Augustinians.

In 431, Prosper went to Rome and obtained a letter from Pope Celestine I that affirmed Augustine and his views and urged the French Bishops to quell the dispute peacefully. But it raged on. For several more years, Prosper wrote extensively, defending and popularising St Augustine’s teaching.

St Prosper on the right with Baby Jesus above him

In The Call to All Nations, Prosper seems to have mellowed somewhat, allowing that God mercifully made the Grace of Salvation available to all human beings. In the following excerpt Prosper describes the interplay of grace and free will:

“When the Word of God enters the ears through the ministry of preachers, the action of the Divine Power fuses with the sound of the human voice. The soul passes from one will to another will. Although the will that is driven out lingers on for a while, the newborn will claims for itself, all that is better in human beings. Thus the law of sin and the law of God do not dwell in the same way and together in the same person. Then the tempter tries to ambush the person through external things but the mind, strong with God’s help, prevails. For there are occasions for struggle and these greatly benefit the faithful. Their weakness is buffeted so that their holiness may not yield to pride. All good things, especially those conducive to eternal life, are obtained, increased and preserved through God’s favour.

Prosper spent the last part of his life in Rome where he served as secretary to St Pope Leo the Great. During that tim, he wrote the Chronicle, a universal history from Adam’s fall to the Vandal’s conquest of Rome in 455. He died in Rome around 465.

You will remember yesterday’s Saint Palladius of Ireland, knowledge of whose history, was greatly enhanced by his contemporary’s writings, St Prosper, who speaks of St Palladius, in particular in regard to the Pelagian heresy.

A reflection by St Prosper here:


Onze Zoeten Dame van Den Bosch, Arras / Our Lady of Arras, Netherlands (1380) and Memorials of the Saints – 7 July

Onze Zoeten Dame van Den Bosch, Arras / Our Lady of Arras, Netherlands (1380) – 7 July:

Saint Cyril (827-869)
Saint Methodius (826-885)
“Apostles to the Slavs,” Sibling Brother Bishops, Confessors, Theologians, Missionaries, Writers, Preachers, Patrons of Europe. Creators of the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe Old Church Slavonic and Cyrillac Alphabet, which was developed from it.
Their Feast Day is 7 July (moved in 1969).
The great Saints Cyril & Methodius:

St Lawrence of Brindisi OFM Cap (1559-1619) Confessor, The “Franciscan Renaissance Man,” Priest and Friar of the Friars Minor Capuchin, Theologian, Vicar General of the Franciscans, Language scholar, Humanist, Philosopher, Biblicist, Preacher, Missionary, Professor, International Administrator, Confidant of Popes, Emperors, Kings and Princes, Diplomatic envoy, Army Chaplain, Military Strategist and Morale builder, Polemicist, Prolific writer.
He was Beatified on 1 June 1783 by Pope Pius VI and Canonised on 8 December 1881 by Pope Leo XIII.
His Zealous Life:

St Alexander
St Angelelmus of Auxerre
St Apollonius of Brescia

Blessed Pope Benedict XI OP (1240-1303) Cardinal-Priest of St Sabina, Bishop of Ostia then of Rome, Dominican Friar, Prior Provincial of Lombardy prior to becoming the Master of the Order in 1296, Apostolic Papal Legate to Hungary and France, Teacher, Preacher, Writer and renowned Scholar with special emphasis on Biblical commentary. His Papacy began on 22 Ocober 1303 and ended at his death on 7 July 1304.
His Life:

Bl Bodard of Poitiers
St Bonitus of Monte Cassino
St Carissima of Rauzeille
St Eoaldus of Vienne
St Ethelburga of Faremoutier
St Hedda of Wessex
St Maelruan
Bl Marie-Gabrielle-Françoise-Suzanne de Gaillard de Lavaldène
St Medran
St Merryn
Bl Oddino Barrotti
St Odo of Urgell
St Odran
St Palladius of Ireland
St Pantaenus of Alexandria

St Pantænus (Died c 216) Father of the Church, Theologian, Philosopher, Teacher, Confessor and Defender of the Faith, Writer and interpreter of the Bible, the Trinity and Christology, |Missionary. Convert ofthe disciples of the Apostles. Head of the Alexandrian School of Learning – a famous pupil was St Clement of Alexandria.

St Prosper of Aquitaine (c 390-c 436) Theologian, Married Layman, Writer, disciple abd friend of St Augustine.
St Syrus of Genoa
St They

St Willibald of Eichstätt (c.700 – 787) Bishop, Prince, Missionary.

Martyrs of Durres – 7 Saints: Also known as – Martyrs of Dyrrachium/Martyrs of Durazzo. A group of seven Italian Christians who fled Italy to escape the persecutions of Emperor Hadrian. Arrived in Dyrrachium, Macedonia to find Saint Astius tied to a cross, covered in honey, laid in the sun and left to be tortured by biting and stinging insects. When they expressed sympathy for Astius, they were accused of being Christians, arrested, chained, weighted down, taken off shore and drowned. We know little more about each of them than their names – Germaus, Hesychius, Lucian, Papius, Peregrinus, Pompeius and Saturninus. They were born in Italy and were martyred at sea c117 off the coast of Dyrrachium (Durazzo), Macedonia (modern Durres, Albania).


One Minute Reflection – 27 October – ‘Children of promise,’

One Minute Reflection – 27 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Romans 8: 26-30; Psalm 13: 4-6; Luke 13: 22-30 and the Memorial of Saint Elesbaan of Ethiopia (Died c 555) King of Ethiopia, Confessor

And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south …” – Luke 13:29

REFLECTION – Those who approach God, leaning on Him with a desire to be saved, are saved indeed. For it is divine inspiration that enables them to conceive this desire for salvation and they come to knowledge of Truth enlightened by Him who calls them. They are indeed children of promise, the reward of faith, the spiritual descendants of Abraham, “a chosen race, a holy priesthood” (1 Pt 2:9), foreknown from long ago and predestined for eternal life. … Through the mediation of Isaiah, our Lord makes known His grace to us, to make new creatures of us all – “See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the desert I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers …)for my chosen people to drink, the people whom I formed for myself that they might announce my praise” And elsewhere …) “To me every knee shall bend, by me every tongue shall swear” (Is 43:19 f; 45:23).

There is no question but that all this will come to pass because God’s foreknowledge never fails nor do His plans alter, His will is ever active and His promises cannot be mistaken. Therefore, all those to whom these words refer shall be saved. For He sets His laws in their consciences and with His finger He writes them in their hearts (Rom 2:15). They gain access to knowledge of God, not under the influence of human teaching but the guidance of the best of masters – “Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything but only God, who causes the growth” (1 Cor 3:7). … It is given to them all to have a changed heart and just judgement together with an upright will. God brings fear to birth in these people so that they may be instructed in His commandments. … They rejoice in the power of His mercy and all the miracles He has done, for God has chosen them and made them His children, heirs of the new covenant (Jr 31:31).” – St Prosper of Aquitaine (Died c 460) Lay Theologian, Writer and disciple of St Augustine (he was the first continuer of St Jerome’s Universal Chronicle) – (The Summons to All People)

PRAYER – Shed Your clear light on our hearts, Lord, so that walking continually in the way of Your commandments, we may never be deceived or misled. Grant that the prayers of our Blessed Mother, who always holds Your Light up for others to see by, give us strength. Through Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.