Prophet Daniel

Daniel

The hero and traditional author of the book which bears his name.

This name (Hebrew dnyal or dnal; Septuagint Daniél), which is also that of two other persons in the Old Testament [cf. I Paral., iii, 1; I Esd., viii, 2, and II Esd. (Nehem.), x, 6], means “God is my judge”, and is thus a fitting appellation for the writer of the Book of Daniel, wherein God’s judgments are repeatedly pronounced upon the Gentile powers. Continue reading

St. Praxedes

St. Praxedes, Virgin

SHE was daughter of Pudens, a Roman senator, and sister to St. Pudentiana, and in the days of Pope Pius I. and the emperor Antoninus Pius, edified the church of Rome by the bright lustre of her virtues. All her great riches she employed in relieving the poor and the necessities of the church. By the comfort and succours which she afforded the martyrs she endeavoured to make herself partaker of their crowns, and she lived in the assiduous exercise of prayer, watching, and fasting. She died in peace and was buried near her sister on the Salarian road. Bede and other martyrologists style her a virgin. An old title or parish church in Rome bearing her name is mentioned in the life of Pope Symmachus. It was repaired by Adrian I. and Paschal I. and lastly by St. Charles Borromeo, who took from it his title of cardinal. 1

The primitive Christians lived only for heaven, and in every step looked up to God, regardless of all lower pursuits or meaner advantages that could interfere with their great design of knowing and loving him. This constant attention to God awed them in their retirements; this gave life and wings to their devotions, and animated them to fervour in all their actions; this carried them through the greatest difficulties and temptations, and supported them under all troubles and afflictions.

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume VII: July. The Lives of the Saints. 1866. July 21.

 

Prophet Elias

Elias

Elias (Hebrew ‘Eliahu, “Yahveh is God”; also called Elijah).

The loftiest and most wonderful prophet of the Old Testament. What we know of his public life is sketched in a few popular narratives enshrined, for the most part, in the First (Third) Book of Kings. These narratives, which bear the stamp of an almost contemporary age, very likely took shape in Northern Israel, and are full of the most graphic and interesting details. Every part of the prophet’s life therein narrated bears out the description of the writer of Ecclesiasticus: He was “as a fire, and his word burnt like a torch” (48:1). The times called for such a prophet. Under the baneful influence of his Tyrian wife Jezabel, Achab, though perhaps not intending to forsake altogether Yahveh’s worship, had nevertheless erected in Samaria a temple to the Tyrian Baal (1 Kings 16:32) and introduced a multitude of foreign priests (xviii 19); doubtless he had occasionally offered sacrifices to the pagan deity, and, most of all, hallowed a bloody persecution of the prophets of Yahveh. Continue reading