Saint Linus

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Saint Linus

Pope and martyr

Saint Linus was converted in Rome in the days when Saint Peter was preaching the Gospel there. This nobleman, originally from the city of Volterra in Tuscany, left his father and renounced his heritage, to practice with greater perfection the doctrine of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He soon gave admirable proofs of his zeal, learning and prudence, and the first Vicar of Christ employed him in preaching and the administration of the Sacraments.

He crossed into Gaul, and became the bishop of the city of Besançon. The number of the faithful increased daily by the conversion of many idolaters. The Saint one day attempted to turn some of those away from the celebration of a festival in honor of their gods, telling them that these idols were but statues without breath or sentiment, and represented only human beings whose vices were public knowledge. He exhorted them to turn to the unique God, Creator of the heavens and the earth, to whom alone man owes the homage of sacrifice. A prodigy followed his words; a column of their temple crumbled and caused the fall of an idol, which broke into a thousand pieces. The worshipers, unmoved by this, drove the Saint out of the city of Besançon, as the city’s tradition still attests.

He returned to Rome and was there when the prince of the Apostles was martyred. He wrote an account of the double martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul, and was himself judged worthy to replace the first Vicar of Christ. The register of his reign records the creation of fifteen bishops and eighteen priests. The Roman breviary says that the faith and sanctity of this blessed Pope were so great that he drove the demons from many possessed persons. He had governed the Church for scarcely a year before he, too, shed his blood for his Saviour. His body was buried in the Vatican near that of Saint Peter. It was only in the 17th century that his tomb reappeared, marked Linus, when Pope Urban VIII had the work on the Confession of Saint Peter completed in the Basilica bearing his name.

Saint Thecla

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Saint Thecla

First Virgin Martyr
(† First Century)

Saint Thecla is one of the most ancient, as she is one of the most illustrious Saints in the calendar of the Church. It was at Iconium that Saint Thecla heard the preaching of Saint Paul, who kindled the love of virginity in her heart. She had been promised in marriage to a young man who was rich and generous, but after hearing the discourses of the Apostle’s word she died to all thought of earthly espousals. She forgot her beauty; she was deaf to her parent’s threats, and at the first opportunity fled from a luxurious home and followed the Apostle.

The rage of her parents and of her suitor followed hard after her, and the Roman power did its worst against the virgin whom Christ had chosen for Himself. She was stripped and placed in the public theater, but her innocence shrouded her like a garment. Then the lions were let loose against her; they fell crouching at her feet and licked them like a house pet. Even fire could not harm her. Torment after torment was inflicted upon her without effect, until finally the divine Spouse of virgins spoke the word of deliverance and called her to Himself, with the double crown of martyrdom and virginity upon her head.

Reflection: It is purity in soul and body which will make you strong in pain, in temptation, and in the hour of death. I can do all in the One who fortifies me, said Saint Paul. Imitate the purity of this glorious virgin, and take her for your special patroness in your last agony.

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

MY CATHOLIC FAITH: The One True Church

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MY CATHOLIC FAITH

LI. The One True Church

What is the Church? –The Church is the congregation of all baptized persons united in the same true faith, the same sacrifice, and the same sacraments, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him.

Even considering it only as a visible society, the Church is a perfect religious body.
All members are subject to the same religious authority, possess identical religious doctrines, live a common religious life, and use the same means of grace, the sacraments.

The Church is divided into the “teaching Church” and the “hearing Church”; for each Christ laid down powers and duties.
The priests, with their bishops and the Pope, compose the “teaching Church”; the faithful, who believe and obey, and are admitted into membership through the Sacrament of Baptism, compose the “hearing Church”. Continue reading