Saint Sylvester

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Saint Sylvester

Pope and Confessor
(280-335)

Saint Sylvester was born in Rome. When he reached the age to dispose of his fortune, he took pleasure in giving hospitality to Christians passing through the city. He would take them with him, wash their feet, serve them at table, and in sum give them in the name of Christ, all the care that the most sincere charity inspired. One day Timothy of Antioch, an illustrious confessor of the Faith, arrived in Rome. No one dared receive him, but Sylvester considered it an honor. For a year Timothy, preaching Jesus Christ with unflagging zeal, received at Sylvester’s dwelling the most generous hospitality. When this heroic man had won the palm of martyrdom, Sylvester took up his precious remains and buried them during the night. But he himself was soon denounced to the prefect and accused of having hidden the martyr’s treasures. He replied, Timothy left to me only the heritage of his faith and courage. The governor threatened him with death and had him imprisoned, but Sylvester said to him, Senseless one, this very night it is you who will render an account to God. And the persecutor that evening swallowed a fish bone, and died in fact that night.
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Saint Sabinus and his Companions

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Saint Sabinus and his Companions

(† 303)

When the cruel edicts of Diocletian and Maximin Hercules were published against the Christians in the year 303, it required more than ordinary force in the bishops and clergy, to encourage the people to undergo martyrdom rather than apostatize. All were forbidden even to draw water or grind wheat, if they would not first incense idols placed for that purpose in the markets and on street corners. Continue reading

INSTRUCTION FOR THE SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS

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INSTRUCTION FOR THE SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS

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

INTROIT For while all things were in quiet silence, and the night came was in the midst of her course, Thy almighty Word, O Lord, down from heaven, from Thy royal throne (Wis. 18:14-15). The Lord hath reigned, he is clothed with beauty: the Lord is clothed with strength, and hath girded himself (Ps. 92:1). Glory be to the Father.
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Saint Thomas Becket

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Saint Thomas Becket

Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr
(1117-1170)

Saint Thomas, son of an English nobleman, Gilbert Becket, was born on the day consecrated to the memory of Saint Thomas the Apostle, December 21, 1117, in Southwark, England. He was endowed by both nature and grace with gifts recommending him to his fellow men; and his father, certain he would one day be a great servant of Christ, confided his education to a monastery. His first employment was in the government of the London police. There he was obliged to learn the various rights of the Church and of the secular arm, but already he saw so many injustices imposed upon the clergy that he preferred to leave that employment rather than to participate in iniquity. He was perfectly chaste and truthful, and no snares could cause to waver his hatred for any form of covert action.
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The First Creche Made by St. Francis

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The First Creche Made by St. Francis
By St. Bonaventure

In his Life of Saint Francis of Assisi Saint Bonaventure relates the story of the first recorded commemorative creche scene. St. Francis of Assisi was always mindful of the humility of Our Lord, born in poverty in the cold manger of Bethlehem. After petitioning the Holy Father for permission, St. Francis set up a manger scene in a cave outside the Italian town of Greccio. This Saint, on fire with love for God, understood well that our senses and mind benefit by appreciating the truth of Incarnation reconstituted in a symbolic representation of it. His example was universally immitated among Catholics. This is why today we can contemplate Our Saviour in the manger scenes of our own homes and churches during this Advent and Christmas. St. Bonaventure recalls that first precedent… Continue reading