The Name of Jesus: A great foundation of faith by St. Bernardine of Siena

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The Name of Jesus: A great foundation of faith by St Bernardine of Siena

Great therefore is the Name of Jesus, foundation of the faith, making us children of God. For the faith of the Catholic religion consists in bringing us the knowledge of Jesus Christ and light: he is the light of the soul, the door to life, the foundation of eternal salvation. So if a man does not have this light or has left it, he walks through the darkness of the night as one without light and, with eyes closed, rushing among dangers and, however bright the excellence of his reason may be, he is following a blind guide in seeking to understand the heavenly mysteries with his own intellect; or in trying to build a house but neglecting the foundation; or, forgetting the door, wanting to enter through the roof.

Jesus is, therefore, this foundation, light and door, who, to show himself as the way to those who had gone astray, brought to everyone the light of faith, by which the unknown God can be sought and, sought, can be believed and, believed, can be found. This foundation sustains the Church, built in the Name of Jesus. The Name of Jesus is the splendour of preachers, because with luminous splendour it announces his word and makes it heard. How do you think the light of faith spread across the globe so much, so quickly and so fervently, if not by Jesus being preached? Did not God call us into his admirable light by the light and taste of this name? Because we have been enlightened and have seen the light in that light, Paul rightly says: “Once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord: walk as children of light”.This indeed is that most Holy Name which was so desired by the patriarchs of old, so anxiously longed for, so long awaited with so much suffering, so much invoked with so many sighs, so begged for with so many tears, but then mercifully given in the time of grace. Hide, I plead, the name of power, may the name of vengeance not be heard, the name of justice be held back. Give us the name of mercy, may the Name of Jesus sound in my ears, because truly then sweet is your voice, and beautiful your face.

O, therefore, glorious name, O gracious name, O lovable and virtuous name! Through you crimes are forgiven, through you enemies are defeated, through you the weak are set free, through you those suffering adversities are comforted and cheered. You, honour of believers; you, teacher of preachers; you, strengthener of those who work; you, sustainer of those who weaken. Thanks to your burning fervour and warmth desires are enkindled, petitions made, contemplating souls intoxicated and, through you, all are glorified triumphing in heavenly glory. With them, O most sweet Jesus, make us reign through this your most holy Name.

Saint Fabian

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Saint Fabian, Pope and Martyr and Saint Sebastian, Martyr

Two great Martyrs divide between them the honours of this twentieth day of January:–one, a Pontiff of the Church of Rome; the other, a member of that Mother-Church. Fabian received the crown of martyrdom, in the year 250, under the persecution of Decius; the persecution of Dioclesian crowned Sebastian, in the year 288. We will consider the merits of these two champions of Christ separately.

Saint Fabian

St. Fabian, like St. Clement and St. Antheros, two of his predecessors, was extremely zealous in seeing that the Acts of the Martyrs were carefully drawn up. This zeal was no doubt exercised by the clergy in the case of our holy Pontiff himself, and his sufferings and martyrdom were carefully registered; but all these interesting particulars have been lost, in common with an immense number of other precious Acts, which were condemned to the flames, by the Imperial Edicts, during the persecution under Dioclesian. Nothing is now known of the life of St. Fabian, save a few of his actions as Pope; but we may have some idea of his virtues, by the praise given him by St. Cyprian, who, in a letter written to St. Cornelius, the immediate successor of St. Fabian, calls him an incomparable man. The Bishop of Carthage extols the purity and holiness of life of the holy Pontiff, who so peaceably governed the Church amidst all the storms which then assailed her. There is an interesting circumstance related of him by Eusebius. After the death of St. Antheros, the people and clergy of Rome assembled together, for the election of the new Pontiff. Heaven marked out the successor of St. Peter: a dove was seen to rest on the venerable head of Fabian, and he was unanimously chosen. This reminds us of the event in our Lord’s Life, which we celebrated a few days back, when standing in the river Jordan, the Dove came down from heaven, and showed him to the people as the Son of God. Fabian was the depository of the power of regeneration, which Jesus, by his Baptism, gave to the element of water; he zealously propagated the Faith of his Divine Master, and, among the Bishops he consecrated for divers places, one or more were sent by him into these western parts of Europe. Continue reading

St. Henry of Uppsala

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St. Henry of Uppsala

While working in Rome, Italy, Henry was sent to evangelize Scandinavia, travelling with papal legate Cardinal Nicholas Breakspear, the future Pope Adrian IV. Bishop of Uppsala in 1148. Evangelized Sweden and Norway. Friend of King Saint Eric of Sweden, and accompanied him into battle with Finnish pirates in 1154. Eric offered friendship and Christianity to the Finns; they chose war, but lost to the Swedes. Henry then evangelized in Finland. Built a church at Nousis, Finland which became his headquarters. Martyred by a Finnish soldier named Lalli whom he had just excommunicated for murdering a Swedish soldier. Legend says that Lalli had a long life – continually tormented by mice as a penance for his attack.



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The Church’s Year
By Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine

In the Introit of this day’s Mass the Church calls upon all creatures to thank God for the Incarnation of His only-begotten Son.

INTROIT Let all the earth adore Thee, O God and sing to Thee: let it sing a psalm to Thy name (Ps. 65:4). Shout with joy to God all the earth, sing ye a psalm to His name: give glory to His praise (Ps. 65:1-2). Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT Almighty and eternal God, Who disposest all things in heaven and on earth: mercifully hear the supplications of Thy people, and give Thy peace to our times. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE (Rom.12:6-16). Brethren: We have different gifts, according to the grace that is given us: either prophecy, to be used according to the rule of faith, or ministry in ministering, or he that teacheth in doctrine, he that exhorteth in exhorting, he that giveth with simplicity, he that ruleth with carefulness, he that sheweth mercy with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Hating that which is evil, cleaving to that which is good: loving one another with the charity of brotherhood: with honor inspiring one another: in carefulness not slothful: in spirit fervent: serving the Lord: rejoicing in hope: patient in tribulation: instant in prayer: communicating to the necessities of the saints: pursuing hospitality: bless them that persecute you: bless and curse not. Rejoice with them that rejoice, weep with them that weep: being of one mind, one towards another: not minding high things, but consenting to the humble. Be not wise in your own conceits. Continue reading