SS. Jonas, Barachisius, and Their Companions

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SS. Jonas, Barachisius, and Their Companions, Martyrs

A.D. 327.

KING SAPOR, in the eighteenth year of his reign, raised a bloody persecution against the Christians, and demolished their churches and monasteries. Jonas and Barachisius, two brothers of the city Beth-Asa, hearing that several Christians lay under sentence of death at Hubaham, went thither to encourage and serve them. Nine of that number received the crown of martyrdom. After their execution, Jonas and Barachisius were apprehended for having exhorted them to die. The president mildly entreated the two brothers to obey the king of kings, meaning the king of Persia, and to worship the sun, moon, fire, and water. Their answer was, that it was more reasonable to obey the immortal King of heaven and earth, than a mortal prince. The Magians were much offended to hear their king called mortal. By their advice the martyrs were separated, and Barachisius was cast into a very narrow close dungeon. Jonas they detained with them, endeavouring to persuade him to sacrifice to fire, the sun, and water. The prince of the Magians, seeing him inflexible, caused him to be laid flat on his belly with a stake under his navel, and to be beaten both with knotty clubs and with rods. The martyr all the time continued in prayer, saying: “I thank you, O God of our father Abraham. Enable me I beseech you to offer to you acceptable holocausts. One thing I have asked of the Lord: this will I seek after. Continue reading

INSTRUCTION FOR THE FIFTH SUNDAY IN LENT

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INSTRUCTION FOR THE FIFTH SUNDAY IN LENT
( JUDICA)

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

This Sunday, called Judica from the first word of the Introit, is also called Passion Sunday, because from this day the Church occupies herself exclusively with the contemplation of the passion and death of Christ. The pictures of Christ crucified are covered today in memory of his having hidden Himself from the Jews until His entrance into Jerusalem, no longer showing Himself in public. (John XI. 54.) In the Mass the Glory be to the Father, etc. is omitted, because in the person of Christ the Holy Trinity was dishonored. The psalm Judica is not said today, because on this day the high priests held council about our Lord, for which reason the Church in the name of the suffering Saviour uses these words at the Introit: Continue reading

Meditations for Each Day of Lent by St. Thomas Aquinas – Passion Sunday

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Meditations for Each Day of Lent by St. Thomas Aquinas

Passion Sunday

The Passion of Christ

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish; but may have life everlasting.–John iii. 14, 15

We may note here three things. 1. The Figure of the Passion. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert. When the Jews said, Our soul now loatheth this very light food (Num. xxi. 5), the Lord sent serpents in punishment, and afterwards, for a remedy, He commanded the brazen serpent to be made–as a remedy against the serpents and also as a figure of the Passion. It is the nature of a serpent to be poisonous, but the brazen serpent had no poison. It was but the figure of a poisonous serpent. So also Christ had no sin, which is the poison, but He had the likeness of sin. God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and of sin (Rom. viii. 3). Therefore Christ had the effect of the serpent against the movements of our blazing desires. Continue reading

Saint John Capistran

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Saint John Capistran

Confessor
(1385-1456)

Saint John was born at Capistrano, near Naples in Italy, in 1385. Having studied both secular and canon law, he became so skilled in it that his reputation spread over all of Italy. He was imprisoned during a war and abandoned by his protector for some time, during which his young wife died. He resolved while still in prison to serve in the future no other interests but those of God. His property was sold at his command, his ransom paid, and from his prison he entered a monastery near Peruse where the Rule of Saint Francis was observed in its purity.
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Meditations for Each Day of Lent by St. Thomas Aquinas – Saturday After the Fourth Sunday

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Meditations for Each Day of Lent by St. Thomas Aquinas

Saturday After the Fourth Sunday

There was not any more fitting way to free the Human Race than through the Passion of Christ

The suitability of any particular way for the attainment of a given end is reckoned according to the greater or less number of things useful to that end which the way in question brings about. The more things helpful to the end the method chosen brings about, the better and more suitable is that method or way. Now owing to the fact that it was through the Passion of Christ that man was delivered, many things, helpful to man’s salvation, came together in addition to his being freed from sin.

(i) Thanks to the fact that it was through the Passion that man was delivered, man learns how much God loves him, and is thereby stimulated to that love of God, in which is to be found the perfection of man’s salvation. God commendeth His charity towards us: because when as yet we were sinners Christ died for us (Rom. v.).

(ii) In the Passion He gave us an example of obedience, humility, constancy, justice and of other virtues also, all of which we must practise if we are to be saved. Christ suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow His steps (i Pet. ii. 21).

(iii) Christ by His Passion not only delivered man from sin, but also merited for man the grace which makes him acceptable to God, and the glory of life with God for eternity.

(iv) The fact that it is through the Passion that man has been saved, brings home to man the need of keeping himself clear from sin. Man has only to realise that it was at the price of the blood of Christ that he was bought back from sin. You are bought with a great price. Glorify God and bear Him in your body (i Cor. vi. 20).

(v) The fact that the Passion was the way chosen heightens the dignity of human nature. As it was man that was deceived and conquered by the devil, so now it is man by whom the devil in turn is conquered. As it was man who once earned death, so it is man who, by dying, has overcome death. Thanks be to God who hath given us the victory through Our Lord Jesus Christ (i Cor. xv. 57).