The ‘Silverless’ Saints

The ‘Silverless’ Saints

  Today, September 26, we celebrate the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian (died 283), Christian doctors, patron saints of physicians and pharmacists, and martyrs for the faith. Of learned skill in medicine, brothers Cosmas and Damian helped those in need out of Christian charity and love, never accepting payment in return. For this reason, they are often referred to as ‘anargyroi,’ meaning “the silverless” or “the moneyless.” Since they were prominent Christians, they were among the first arrested when the great persecution under Diocletian began. Lysias, the governor of Cilicia, ordered their arrest as “Christians who cured various illnesses and delivered possessed persons in the name of the one called Christ; they do not permit others to go to...

A Brutal Reminder

A Brutal Reminder

  It’s a bit of a jolt. Holy Mother Church leads us from the glorious Hallelujah’s of the Christmas miracle and the birth of the newborn King of the Jews -God Incarnate- to today’s feast of St Stephan, the first martyr. We go from reading of the multitude of Heavenly hosts proclaiming:   Glory to God in the Highest and on earth, peace among men with whom He is pleased. —Luke 2:13   to today’s readings where we hear of a good man, Stephan,    filled with grace and power, working great wonders and signs among the people.   Who could possibly have a problem with this remarkable preacher?   A group of Jews in Jerusalem debated with him, but could not get the better of him, so they arranged to falsely accuse...

The Dragon Slayer Saint

The Dragon Slayer Saint

St George and the Dragon Gustave Moreau 1889-90   Couldn’t we all use an intercessor who was a dragon slayer? Though it is legendary, the story is:   “…he came upon a young women in a bridal gown about to be sacrificed to appease the dragon. He wounded the beast, dragged it to the town with the bride’s belt, and killed it when the populace agreed to be baptized.” The legend didn’t appear until the 13th Century in a book called The Golden Legend, by Caxton, nearly nine hundred years after George’s death. But, he was a true soldier who gave his life for Christ. He is the patron of England, but he’s not English, though he’s identified “with England and English ideals of honor, bravery and...

Roses, Lilies, Ivy and Violets

Roses, Lilies, Ivy and Violets

  St Lawrence on Trial (detail) Fra Angelico     The Roman Church commends to us today the anniversary of the triumph of St Lawrence. For in this day he trod the furious pagan world underfoot and flung aside it’s allurements, and so gained victory over Satan’s attack on his faith.   St Augustine writes that the Holy Martyrs followed Christ and reproduced His passion even to the shedding of their blood, however the bridge was not broken after they crossed, nor was the fountain of life dried up after they had drunk from it.   I tell you again and again my brethren, that in the Lord’s garden are to be found not only the roses of His martyrs. In it there are also,   :: the lilies of the virgins :: the ivy of wedded...

“Every drop of my blood calls out I am a Christian”

“Every drop of my blood calls out I am a Christian”

    I know it’s fat Tuesday, but… There is so much to share on the persecution of Christians in China and the suffering of people under the one child policy, I hardly know what to bring to your attention. In keeping with my promise to pray for suffering and persecuted Christians around the world this Lent, let’s begin here:   Blind Chinese Forced Abortion Opponent Collapses From Home Detention       (by Steven Ertelt | Linyi, China | LifeNews.com)  The leading campaigner against forced abortions in China has collapsed outside his home because he has been repeatedly beaten and denied medical care after local population control officials have sentenced him to home confinement for exposing a massive forced abortion...