Octave of the Holy Innocents and the Value of Children

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Octave of the Holy Innocents and the Value of Children

Every year, as the Church commemorates the slaughter of the Holy Innocents on December 28, she repeats, with the Evangelist St. Matthew, the prophecy of Jeremias: “A voice in Rama is heard, lamentation and great mourning: Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.” In the constant belief of the Church, these Holy Innocents were, at the threshold of life, plunged into a sea of suffering for the sake of the Blessed Redeemer, to be His martyrs and to receive, in one moment, their eternal palms and crowns. “We hear loud voices and shrill expostulations, as of women in misery talking all at once, like a jargon in the summer woods, when the birds have risen against the hawk, and then the fearful cry of excited lamentation, with the piteous moaning of the infant victims mingled with the inconsolable wailing of their brave, powerless mothers ” (Fr. Faber).
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Pope St. Anterus

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Pope St. Anterus


(Reigned 21 November, 235-3 January, 236). We know for certain only that he reigned some forty days, and that he was buried in the famous “papal crypt” of the cemetery of St. Calixtus at Rome [Northcote and Brownlow, Roma Sotterranea, (London, 1879) I, 296-300]. The “Liber Pontificalis” (ed. Duchesne I, 147; cf. xcv-vi) says that he was martyred for having caused the Acts of the martyrs to be collected by notaries and deposited in the archives of the Roman Church. This tradition seems old and respectable; nevertheless the best scholars maintain that it is not sufficiently guaranteed by its sole voucher, the “Liber Pontificalis”, on account, among other things, of the late date of that work’s compilation. (See PAPACY, NOTARIES.) The site of his sepulchre was discovered by De Rossi in 1854, with some broken remnants of the Greek epitaph engraved on the narrow oblong slab that closed his tomb, an index at once of his origin and of the prevalence of Greek in the Roman Church up to that date. For the “Epistola Anteri” attributed to him by Pseudo-Isidore see Hinschius, “Decret. Pseudo-Isidorianae” (Leipzig, 1863), 156-160 and P.G., X, 165-168. Cf. “Liber Pont”. (ed. Duchesne), I. 147.

Tillemont, Mémoires (III), 278, 694; De Rossi, Roma Sotterr., II, pl. III, 55-58; Allard, Hist. des Persecutions (Paris, 1886), II, 198-200; Acta SS. (1643), Jan. 1, 127.

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APA citation. Shahan, T. (1907). Pope St. Anterus. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Shahan, Thomas. “Pope St. Anterus.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Saint Genevieve

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Saint Genevieve, Virgin

The Holy Virgin Genevieve, the fame of whose brilliant virtues and miracles fills the whole of France, was born near Paris in the year of our Lord, 422. The poverty of her parents, Severus and Gerontia, faded away before the rich treasures of virtue, which they had accumulated. Even in her childhood Genevieve was remarkable for her extraordinary love of retirement, her mature judgment, and her angelic piety. When St, Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre, was visiting his flock, he saw the child standing beside her parents, and inspired by heaven addressed the latter: “Happy are you, who have brought into the world a child so beloved of God. Take all possible care of her education; for the Lord has chosen her as a special offering.”  Continue reading

The Octave of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist

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The Octave of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist

“Peter saw the disciple whom Jesus loved.”–John 21.

The saints exercise a various influence on the hearts of the faithful, according to their various character, and the various vocations to which the Lord hath called them. There are saints, whose lives excite our amazement and admiration; as, for instance, St. Simon the Stylite, who, for a number of years, remained in a standing position on a pillar; or St. Peter of Alcantara, whose extreme penance filled even St. Teresa with astonishment. In the case of the saint whose memory the Church celebrates today, we feel our hearts drawn towards him. It is he of whom it is written, that he was the disciple whom Jesus loved, and who ranks high among the elect on account of his great love for his neighbor,–St. John the Evangelist.

I will take advantage of this hour to consider with you, why St. John called himself the disciple whom Jesus loved. If we understand this, we will honor St. John by a still greater devotion, and we will follow his virtuous example with still greater fidelity. O Mary, thou who hast so frequently blest thy foster-son St. John, and who hast guided him in his sublime destiny with maternal tenderness and care, show thyself also a mother to us! I speak in the holy name of Jesus, to the greater honor of God! Continue reading