Tag Archives: St. Jerome

Sunday Devotional: We are all called to be saints!

Revelation 7:9-14

After this I had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.”

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

“Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”
He said to me,
“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”

saints in Heaven2
Today is All Saints’ Day — the day when we remember and honor the saints.
Do not be intimidated by the word “saint” — it simply means “holy.”
The Oxford Dictionary defines “holy” as a person who is dedicated to God, who is morally and spiritually excellent.
Today is the feast day of all the saints, whose numbers are far greater than those formally declared as such by the Catholic Church.
Among the many things that distress me about the Church today is how rarely, if ever, priests mention the saints in their homilies. That puzzles me because the saints are our role models. They were, like us, wholly imperfect human beings. As an example, St. Jerome (331-420) is described as “By nature an irascible man with a sharp tongue” who “made enemies as well as friends” — which goes to show that one doesn’t have to be “perfect” to be a saint!

1 John 3:1-3

See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure,
as he is pure.

Coming Home
God created us so that we eventually will join Him in Heaven for all eternity. Since saints are holy, and only holy people will see God face to face, that means we are all called to be saints.
This morning, on All Saints’ Day, I’ll say it outright:

I want to be a saint!
And I want all of you to be saints!

Please join me in making the same affirmation. And let us help each other to become saints.
The Greatest Commandment is to love God with our whole hearts, our whole souls, our whole minds, and with all our strength.
May the peace and joy and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

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St. Apollinaris of Hierapolis, Bishop

St. Apollinaris
Today, the Church honors Saint Apollinaris, the illustrious second century Bishop of Hierapolis-Phrygia.  The great Church historian, Eusebius, and St. Jerome, both acknowledge him as a great apologist famous for his treatises against the heresies of his day, showing the error of the heresies to be borrowed from the pagans.  Most unfortunately, his writings cannot be found, and only some extracts of his writings are available.
He lived during the time of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius.  In or about 177, he addressed a defense of Christianity to the emperor, the Apologia, who shortly before this defense, had obtained an important victory over the Quadi, a people inhabiting the country which is now called Moravia.
By way of background, one of the emperor’s legions, the twelfth legion, was composed primarily of Christians.  The army began to perish because of the lack of water.  Accordingly, the Christian soldiers fell upon their knees and invoked the Lord’s assistance.  Their prayers were immediately answered, whilst a copious rain fell, and aided by the storm, they conquered the Germans.  In fact, the emperor named this Christian legion, the “Thundering Legion.”  St. Apollinaris reminded the emperor of this victory, requesting his protection and an end to the persecution of the Christians at that time.   The emperor complied during his reign, but the persecution of Christians continued thereafter.
In addition to the Apologia, he wrote two books against the Jews, five books against the pagans and two on Truth. 
He died in the second century, wherein the actual date of his death is unknown.  We applaud St. Apollinaris for his strong defense of Christianity and for his love of Truth.  May we remember his example and defend the Faith against modern-day heresies, especially secularism and relativism.
Sources:  The Catholic Encyclopedia, Wikipedia, traditionalcatholic.net, and ucatholic.com

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