St. Caius

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St. Caius, Pope and Martyr

HE succeeded St. Eutychian in the apostolic see, in 283. The church then enjoyed a calm, but was soon afterwards disturbed by a tumultuous persecution for two years, on the death of Carinus. St. Caius encouraged St. Sebastian and the other martyrs and confessors. However, to preserve himself for his flock, he withdrew for a time to avoid the fury of the storm. The ancient pontificals say he was of Dalmatia, and related to the emperor Dioclesian. Having sat twelve years, four months, and seven days, he died on the 21st of April, 296, and was interred on the 22nd, on which day his name is honoured in the Liberian Calendar. His sufferings obtained him the title of martyr, as Orsi takes notice. 1 

What had not these primitive saints to suffer not only from the persecutions of infidel princes and magistrates, but also from the ignorance, stupidity, jealousy, and malice of many whom they laboured daily to gain to Christ, and from the manifold trials and dangers of so many souls in their dear flock whom they bore in their hearts, and whose sufferings they felt much more severely than their own! We are not to be surprised.—These were so many special effects of a most tender love and mercy in Him by whose providence these trials were sent them; they were the steps by which their souls were raised to the summit of perfect virtue. We perhaps daily meet with domestic persecutions and contradictions, and look upon them as obstacles to our progress in the way of perfection, as thorns in our road. They may, indeed, be called thorns, but they produce and guard the sweetest and most beautiful flowers of virtue. It is owing to our sloth, cowardice, and impatience; it is our fault if they are hindrances of what they are designed by God to advance and perfect in our souls. Virtues exercised in prosperity, which are fair to the eye, and applauded by men, are usually false or superficial. A perpetual spring would produce only leaves and flowers, and bring no fruit to maturity. To understand the incomparable value and merit of the little crosses of which we are so apt to complain, we must not lose sight of the saints. Those Christian heroes, of whom the world was not worthy, all suffered, and were persecuted many ways. These crosses both purchased and ensured to them their greatest crowns. 2

Note 1. T. 3, l. 8, n. 46, p. 500.

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume IV: April. The Lives of the Saints. 1866. April 22.

St. Soter

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St. Soter, Pope and Martyr

ST. SOTER was raised to the papacy upon the death of St. Anicetus, in 173. By the sweetness of his discourses, he comforted all persons with the tenderness of a father, and assisted the indigent with liberal alms, especially those who suffered for the faith. He liberally extended his charities, according to the custom of his predecessors, to remote churches, particularly to that of Corinth, to which he addressed an excellent letter, as St. Dionysius of Corinth testifies in his letter of thanks, who adds that his letter was found worthy to be read for their edification on Sundays at their assemblies to celebrate the divine mysteries, together with the letter of St. Clement, pope. St. Soter vigorously opposed the heresy of Montanus, and governed the church to the year 177. See Eusebius, from whose ecclesiastical history these few circumstances are gleaned. In the Martyrologies this pope is styled a martyr.

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume IV: April. The Lives of the Saints. 1866. April 22.

Easter Monday: The Wonderful Prerogatives of Our Lord’s Glorified Body

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Easter Monday: The Wonderful Prerogatives of Our Lord’s Glorified Body

by Rev. Bruno Vercruysse, 1859 

1st Prel: Represent to yourself the glorified body of Jesus.

2d Prel: Ask for grace to comprehend the perfections of our Lord’s glorified body, and to have our share in them with Him on the great day of the Resurrection.

Point I: The Immortality and Impassibility of Our Lord’s Body

Consideration.– As soon as our Lord’s soul was reunited to His body, the latter received the property of impassibility. This body, formerly subject to all human infirmities — cold, hunger, weariness, the pains and sorrows of death — became absolutely impassible and immortal; “Mors illi ultra non dominabitur.” “Death shall no more have dominion over Him.” (Rom. 6:9.)

Application.– How had Jesus, as man, merited such glorious gifts? By His death and sufferings, endured for His Father’s glory and man’s salvation.. We shall receive the same gifts on the like conditions; therefore, why should we so greatly fear death? Let us sanctify our sufferings by accepting them, as well as death itself, with entire resignation to the will of our Heavenly Father, offering them up in expiation of our sins, and those of others, after the example of our Divine Lord. The more we suffer with Him, the larger our share in the wonderful perfections of His glorified body. Happy the Christian, happy the religious, who bears this in mind! How great will be his courage, how perfect his submission, under every affliction! Let us endeavor so to live that we may be of this happy number.

Affections.– Make acts of faith in these consoling truths. Ask of God the grace to have them ever present to your mind.

Resolutions.– In all hardship and bodily suffering, I will bear in mind these words of the Apostle: “We look for the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, who will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of His glory.” (Philip. 3 : 20, 21.)

Point II: The Spirituality and Agility of Our Lord’s Glorified Body

Consideration.– A spiritual body is one that has spiritual properties, such as the power of penetrating matter, of passing at a single act of the will from one place to another, at whatever distance; how, or in what way, we can not comprehend, much less explain. Nevertheless, such were the properties of our Lord’s glorified body. He proved that He possessed them by appearing several times in the midst of the disciples, as St. John relates, although “cum fores erant clausae, propter metum Judaeorum.” “The doors were shut, for fear of the Jews.” (St. John 20: 19.)

Application.– Such, again, will be the perfection of the glorified bodies of the just after the resurrection, and for all eternity in heaven. I shall one day partake of them; the hope and assurance of it are given to me by St. Paul in these words, “Seminatur corpus animale, surget corpus spirituale.” “It is sown a natural body, it shall rise a spiritual body.” (1. Cor. 15:44;) provided that I endeavor to live a spiritual life. “Si facta carnis mortificaveritis.” “If by the spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live,” (Rom. 8: 13,) as the Apostle St. Paul expresses it. Does my conscience testify that I have done this?

Affections.– I will rejoice from my heart, and endeavor to animate my devotion by dwelling on these pious and consoling considerations suggested by the mysteries of the Paschal time.

Resolutions.– I will ask myself frequently in the words of Thomas a Kempis: “To what end camest thou hither? Was it not that thou mightest become a spiritual man?” (Imit. i. Book, xxv.)

Point III: The Lucidity of Our Lord’s Glorified Body

Consideration.–Those that would walk securely in the dark must provide themselves with a light. For Jesus risen there is no more darkness. His glorified body is its own light. The splendors of His divinity, flowing from His soul to His body, have made Him more radiant than the sun at noonday. The Apostles had once before seen something of this glory, on the day of His transfiguration.

Application.– If I share the resurrection of the just, such will also be the radiance of my body; the more brilliant in proportion to the mortifications to which it has been subjected, and the labors it has endured for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

Colloquy with God the Father. Thank Him for the privileges granted to the humanity of the Incarnate Word, our beloved Saviour. Beg of Him grace to prepare yourself for impassibility and immortality by invincible constancy in your good resolutions; for spirituality and agility by facility and promptitude in penetrating the mysteries of faith and the secrets of the spiritual life; and in fine, for lucidity by the light of good example and edification.

Feast of Easter Monday

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Feast of Easter Monday

“To him that shall overcome, I will give to sit with Me in My throne, as I also have overcome.”–Apoc. iii, 21.

On every feast of the Church is stamped the impress and character of the mystery of faith it is intended to commemorate, and of which we are vividly reminded by its annual occurrence. Therefore the festival of Easter–“the feast of feasts “–is a day of triumph,and the exultant strain of the “Alleluia” resounds throughout the Church. On Holy Saturday, the Preface salutes Christ as the glorified Redeemer, Who, by His resurrection, triumphed over death and hell.

All Christendom entones a gladsome Easter hymn in honor of the Conqueror Who vanquished death, and burst the trammels of the grave. The Saviour struggled against the enemies of our salvation and conquered; and so will you vanquish them, if you call upon Him. “Death, I will be thy death; hell, I will be thy bite.” So Christ assures us through the mouth of the prophet. This was fulfilled by the painful death on the cross, from which He arose, the Victor. The joyful Alleluia reminds us of this. It is the cry of jubilee of the Church triumphant in heaven; and tells us also that, if we wish to celebrate Easter with Christ and all the blessed in heaven, we must, while members of the militant Church, combat and conquer with her. What will particularly encourage us to combat as children of God is the thought of Christ, the Conqueror; and, my dearest brethren, all that intensifies the joy of victory beams forth in an infinitely more perfect manner in this brilliant triumph which Jesus gained over death and hell.

The joy of the triumph re-echoes in the Alleluia which He entoned when He arose glorious and immortal from the tomb. O Mary, who, by crushing the serpent’s head, didst vanquish hell, assist us, that we may do so too; and thus rejoice with thee in the triumph of the Church for all eternity! I speak in the name of the Risen Jesus, for the greater honor and glory of God! Continue reading