Saint Celestine I

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Saint Celestine I

(† 432)

Saint Celestine was a native of Rome, a relative of the emperor Valentinian, and at the death of Pope Saint Boniface in September 422, he was chosen to succeed him, by the consent of the entire city.

His first official act was to confirm the condemnation of an African bishop who had been convicted of grave crimes. He wrote also to the bishops of the provinces of Vienne and Narbonne in Gaul to correct several abuses which had followed upon errors in doctrine. He stipulated, among other things, that absolution or reconciliation should never be refused to any dying sinner who sincerely asked it; for repentance depends not so much on time as on the heart, which can be changed in a moment when God so wills.

Saint Celestine assembled a synod at Rome in 430, by which the writings of Nestorius were examined, and the heresiarch’s obstinate errors in maintaining in Christ two persons, a divine and a human, were condemned. The Pope pronounced sentence of excommunication against Nestorius, and deposed him. Being informed that in Great Britain, the seeds of the Pelagian heresy, denying the necessity of grace, were spreading, Saint Celestine sent there Saint Germanus of Auxerre, whose zeal and ministry happily prevented the threatening danger.

He also sent Saint Palladius, a Roman, to preach the Faith to the Scots, both in North Britain and in Ireland. Many authors of the life of Saint Patrick say that he, too, received his commission to preach to the Irish from Saint Celestine, in 431. This holy Pope died on the 1st of August, in 432, having reigned almost ten years.

Reflection. Vigilance is truly necessary in those to whom the care of souls has been confided. Blessed are the servants whom the Lord at His coming shall find watching. (Luke 12:37)

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).

Friday After Easter

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Friday After Easter
In Defense of the Resurrection

by Dom Gueranger, 1908

This is the day which the Lord hath made: let us be glad and rejoice therein.

Eight days ago, we were standing near the cross, on which died the Man of Sorrows (Is. liii. 3.), abandoned by His Father, and rejected, by a solemn judgement of the Synagogue, as a false Messias: and lo! this is the sixth time the sun has risen upon our earth since the voice of the Angel was heard proclaiming the Resurrection of this adorable Victim. The Church, His widowed spouse, then lay prostrate before the justice of the eternal God and Father, who ‘spared not even His own Son (Rom. viii, 32),’ because He had taken upon Himself the likeness of sin; but now she is feasting in the sight of her Jesus’ triumph, for He bids her be exceeding glad. But if within this glad Octave, there be one day, rather than another, on which she should proclaim His triumph, it assuredly is the Friday; for it was on that day she saw Him ‘filled with reproaches (Lament. iii. 30)’ and crucified. Continue reading