Saint Peter-Julian Eymard

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Saint Peter-Julian Eymard

Saint Peter Julian Eymard was born in the Alpine mountains of eastern France in the year 1811, son of a poor olive-presser. His mother inspired in him horror of sin and love for the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin. He solemnly promised Our Lord, on the day of his First Communion, that he would become a priest. This plan was not approved by his father, as Peter was his only son and destined to inherit his little industry. The young boy studied Latin on his own, in spare moments, encouraged by an Oblate missionary priest. Continue reading

The Invention of St. Stephen, or the Discovery of His Relics

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The Invention of St. Stephen, or the Discovery of His Relics

THIS SECOND festival, in honour of the holy protomartyr St. Stephen, was instituted by the church on the occasion of the discovery of his precious remains. His body lay long concealed, whilst the glory of his sanctity shone both in heaven and on earth. The very remembrance of the place of his burial had been blotted out of the minds of men, and his relics lay covered under the ruins of an old tomb, in a place twenty miles from Jerusalem, called Caphargamala, that is, borough of Gamaliel, where stood a church which was served by a venerable priest named Lucian. In the year 415, in the tenth consulship of Honorius, and the sixth of Theodosius the Younger, on Friday the 3d of December, about nine o’ clock at night, Lucian was sleeping in his bed, in the baptistery, where he commonly lay, in order to guard the sacred vessels of the church. Being half awake, he saw a tall comely old man of a venerable aspect, with a long white beard, clothed in a white garment, edged with small plates of gold, marked with crosses, and holding a golden wand in his hand. This person approached Lucian, and calling him thrice by his name, bid him go to Jerusalem, and tell bishop John to come and open the tombs in which his remains, and those of certain other servants of Christ lay, that through their means God might open to many the gates of his clemency. Lucian asked his name? “I am,” said he, “Gamaliel, who instructed Paul the apostle in the law; and on the east side of the monument lieth Stephen who was stoned by the Jews without the north gate. His body was left there exposed one day and one night; but was not touched by birds or beasts. Continue reading