Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ. -- Saint Augustine of Hippo from “The City of God

Friday, November 30, 2012

Saint Chromatius of Aquileia

Saint Chromatius was born in the 4th century at Aquileia, Italy. His father died when he was an infant and he was raised by his mother and large family of older brothers and sisters. He was ordained as a priest around 387 A.D.

He attended the Synod of Aquileia and worked for the strong denunciation of the Arian heresy. The denunciation resulted from the synod. Saint Chromatius was consecrated as Bishop of Aquileia in 388.

Saint Chromatius was an active correspondent with Saint Ambrose of Milan, and was a friend of both Saint Jerome and Saint John Chrysostom. Saint Jerome dedicated several works to him. Chromatius was influential in the translation of early Christian works into Latin for wider use. He financed Saint Jerome’s translation of the Bible, and Rufinus’ translation of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History.

Saint Chromatius wrote several respected scripture commentaries, seventeen of which survive. Saint Chromatius supported Saint John Chrysostom and wrote on his behalf against the unjust accusations of Emperor Arcadius.

Saint Chromatius died at Aquileia, Italy of natural causes in December 407.

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The following is from a discourse on the Gospel of Saint Matthew by Saint Chromatius of Aquileia:

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp only to put it under a bushel basket; they put it on a stand where it gives light to all in the house. The Lord called his disciples to salt of the earth because they seasoned with heavenly wisdom the hearts of men, rendered insipid by the devil. Now he calls them the light of the world as well, because they have been enlightened by him, the true and everlasting light, and have themselves become a light in the darkness. 

Since he is the Sun of Justice, he fittingly calls his disciples the light of the world. The reason for this is that through them, as through shining rays, he has poured out the light of the knowledge of himself upon the entire world. For by manifesting the light of truth, they have dispelled the darkness of error from the hearts of men. 

Moreover, we too have been enlightened by them. We have been made light out of darkness as the Apostle says: For once you, were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light. He says another time: For you are not sons of the light and of darkness, but you are all sons of light and of the day. Saint John also rightly asserts in his letter: God is light, and whoever abides in God is in the light just as God himself is in the light. Therefore, because we rejoice in having been freed from the darkness of error, we should always walk in the light as children of light. This is why the Apostle says: Among them you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life. 

If we fail to live in the light, we shall, to our condemnation and that of others, be veiling over and obscuring by our infidelity the light men so desperately need. As we know from Scripture, the man who received the talent should have made it produce a heavenly profit, but instead he preferred to hide it away rather than put it to work and was punished as he deserved. 

Consequently, that brilliant lamp which was lit for the sake of our salvation should always shine in us. For we have the lamp of the heavenly commandment and spiritual grace, to which David referred: Your law, is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Solomon also says this about it: For the command of the law is a lamp. 

Therefore, we must not hide this lamp of law and faith. Rather, we must set it up in the Church, as on a lamp stand, for the salvation of many, so that we may enjoy the light of truth itself and all believers may be enlightened." 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How Did Cardinal Newman Deal with the Haters? « Campus Notes

The following excerpts are from The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) Blog:
  • If you’re writing about religion on the internet today, it’s impossible to avoid the haters who wish to mangle, distort, and intentionally misconstrue each and every syllable you publish and likely even attack you personally. Brandon Vogt of Ignitum Today writes that we can all take a lesson from Blessed Cardinal Newman on how to deal with attacks like those:
Read more by clicking below:
How Did Cardinal Newman Deal with the Haters? « Campus Notes

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saint Saturninus of Toulouse

Saint Saturninus of Toulouse ( also known as Sernin; Saturnin) was a third century missionary from Rome to Gaul, the Pyrenees ( mountain range in southwestern Europe, forming a natural boundary between France and Spain), and the Iberian peninsula (peninsula in southwestern Europe, divided into Spain and Portugal, together with Gibraltar).

He made many converts including the farmer now known as Saint Honestus who joined him in the missions. Saint Saturninus and two companions were imprisoned at Carcassone by the prefect Rufinus, but they were freed by an angel. He was the first bishop of Toulouse, where he performed miraculous healings. He converted and baptized Saint Firminus who was later bishop of Amiens.

When Saturninus began his work in Toulouse, the local pagan priests stopped receiving oracles from their “gods”. The devils were struck dumb by the presence of the saint as he passed that way. One day in 257, when the priests were hopelessly frustrated, Saturninus passed by in the street. The priests blamed the bishop, and ordered the crowd of heathens to seize him and force him to offer sacrifice to their gods. The idols fell to pieces in front of the bishop. The crowds abused him, then tied his feet to a wild bull which was to be sacrificed, and then drove the bull out of the temple. He was dragged to death.

The martyrdom of this saint probably happened in the reign of Valerian, around 257 A.D.  


 "I adore one only God, and to him I am ready to offer a sacrifice of praise. Your gods are devils, and are more delighted with the sacrifice of your souls than with those of your bullocks. How can I fear them who, as you acknowledge, tremble before a Christian?" -- Saint Saturninus

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Blessed Jacopone of Todi

Blessed Jacopone of Todi (also known as Crazy Jim; Iacopone da Todi; Jacomo da Todi; Jacopo Benedetti; Jacopo Benedicti; Jacopone Benedetti da Todi; Jacopone of Todi; James da Todi) was an Italian noble from the Benedetti family of Todi born around 1230 A.D. 

He was a successful lawyer at Bologna, and he married Vanna di Guidone in 1267. Vanna considered Jacomo too worldly, and did penance for him. 

In 1268, Jacomo insisted she attend a public tournament against her wishes. The stands in which she sat collapsed, and Vanna was killed. The shock of this event, and his discovery of her penance for him, caused a radical change in Jacomo. He gave his possessions to the poor, dressed in rags, and joined the Third Order of Saint Francis. His former associates called him Jacopone, Crazy Jim, a name which he embraced. 

After ten years of this penance and abuse, Jacomo tried to join the Franciscans, but his reputation as Crazy Jim preceded him, and he was refused. To prove his sanity and intentions, he wrote a beautiful poem about the vanities of the world which swayed the Franciscans, and he joined the Order in 1278. He refused to be ordained, and spent time writing popular hymns in the vernacular. 

Jacopone suddenly found himself a leader in a disturbing religious movement among the Franciscans. The Spirituals, as they were called, wanted a return to the strict poverty of Francis. They had the support of two cardinals and Pope Celestine V. 

The two cardinals, however, opposed Celestine's successor, Pope Boniface VIII, and due to the wrangling in the Vatican, Jacopone was excommunicated and imprisoned at the age of 68. Jacopone acknowledged his error, but was not released until five years later, when Blessed Benedict XI became pope. He accepted his imprisonment as penance. 

He spent his last three years giving himself completely to spirituality, weeping "because Love is not loved," and writing hymns, including the famous Latin hymn, Stabat Mater. 

Blessed Jacopone of Todi died December 25, 1306 at Collazzone, Italy as a priest intoned the Gloria from midnight Mass. His relics are at Saint Fortunato Church, Montecristo, Italy.

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The Stabat Mater 

At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last. 

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had pass'd. 

Oh, how sad and sore distress'd
Was that Mother highly blest
Of the sole-begotten One! 

Christ above in torment hangs;
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying glorious Son. 

Is there one who would not weep,
Whelm'd in miseries so deep
Christ's dear Mother to behold? 

Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that Mother's pain untold? 

Bruis'd, derided, curs'd, defil'd,
She beheld her tender child
All with bloody scourges rent. 

For the sins of His own nation,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent. 

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above;
Make my heart with thine accord. 

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ our Lord. 

Holy Mother! pierce me through;
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour crucified. 

Let me share with thee His pain,
Who for all my sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died. 

Let me mingle tears with thee,
Mourning Him who mourn'd for me,
All the days that I may live. 

By the cross with thee to stay,
There with thee to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of thee to give. 

Virgin of all virgins best,
Listen to my fond request
Let me share thy grief divine. 

Let me, to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of thine. 

Wounded with His every wound,
Steep my soul till it hath swoon'd
In His very blood away. 

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In His awful Judgment day. 

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
Be Thy Mother my defense,
Be Thy cross my victory. 

While my body here decays,
May my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee. 


-- Blessed Jacopone da Todi
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