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Father Sandy having an invocation on the gala of seafarers house.
April 15, 2018
ALMIGHTY God, who hast given thine only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also an ensample of godly life; Give us grace that we may always most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit, and also daily endeavour ourselves to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through the same* Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle. 1 St. Pet. ii. 19.
THIS is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do. well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not: but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray: but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
The Gospel. St. John x. 11.
JESUS said, I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold*, and one shepherd. ... See more
Saint Justin Martyr.
Feast Day April 14
O GOD, who by the foolishness of the Cross didst wondrously teach thy blessed Martyr Saint Justin an excellent knowledge of Christ Jesus: grant that by his intercession, we being delivered from the deceitfulness of all false doctrine, may be firmly grounded in thy true religion. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
As patron of philosophers, Justin may inspire us to use our natural powers–especially our power to know and understand–in the service of Christ, and to build up the Christian life within us. Since we are prone to error, especially in reference to the deep questions concerning life and existence, we should also be willing to correct and check our natural thinking in light of religious truth. Thus we will be able to say with the learned saints of the Church: I believe in order to understand, and I understand in order to believe.
Justin the Philosopher, usually surnamed Martyr, was the first to defend the Christian religion in written works of any considerable length. Wherefrom we learn that he was born in Palestine, probably about the year 100, of pagan parents, whom we may suppose to have been of Greek descent. But Justin saith that he was, as it were, a Samaritan, in that he was born at Sychem (which same is now called Nablus). His parents used their wealth to give him a good education, and he so loved truth that he studied diligently all the known philosophies of the whole world. But each and everyone of them left him unsatisfied. Then one day he saw a venerable old man that seemed to be following him. With whom he held converse, and was told of a philosophy nobler and more satisfying than any he knew. It concerned a revelation from God to Hebrew Prophets, and was consummated in the coming of the very Truth of God in one named Jesus.
Henceforth he kept the Scriptures in his hands day and night. And therefrom he acquired an excellent knowledge of Christ Jesus; and when he was about thirty, he became a Christian. Thereafter he devoted his great learning to the composition of books, and to private and public disputatons, in the defence and explication of our holy religion. Of his many treatises, three only have come down to us entire, to wit, the two Apologies and the Dialogue with Tryphon. The first Apology is addressed to the Emperor, his two sons, the Senate, and the Roman people. It is a vindication of the moral and spiritual character of Christianity, which some the Roman courts held to be criminal practice, worthy of death. Towards the end of this treatise are described the ceremonies of Baptism and the Sunday Eucharist of those days, wherein we have a most precious record of an ancient form of the Church's liturgy. The second Apology is something of an appendix to the first. And the Dialogue with Tryphon is a vindication of Christianity against the attacks of Judaism.
In the garb of a philosopher, Justin travelled much, holding disputations with pagans, hereticks, and Jews. Finally he came to Rome, where he debated publicly with the cynic Crescens, whom he convicted of ignorance and wilful misrepresentations. But on a later visit to Rome, he was apprehended, probably through the enmity of the Cynics, and sentenced by the Prefect Rusticus to be scourged and beheaded. The Acts of his trial and martyrdom are authentic, and shew how boldly he witnessed to Christ in the face of death. With him were martyred six other Christians, five men and one woman. The date of their heavenly birthday is not recorded, but it was somewhere around the year 165. However the Feast of Saint Justin is kept on the day following the commemoration in the Martyrology of the Martyr Carpus whose name in the Chronicle of Eusebius immediately precedeth Justin Martyr. The purpose of whose life is summed up in his own words: It is our duty to make known our doctrine, lest we incur the guilt and punishment of those who sin through ignorance.
We are slain with the sword, but we increase and multiply; the more we are persecuted and destroyed, the more are deaf to our numbers. As a vine, by being pruned and cut close, shoots forth new suckers, and bears a greater abundance of fruit; so is it with us." – St. Justin Martyr ... See more
Feast day: April 13
In Spanish, San Hermenegildo, Martyr.
O GOD, who didst teach thy blessed Martyr Hermenegild to prefer thy heavenly to an earthly kingdom: grant, we pray thee; that, following his pattern, we may despise all things that are transitory, and follow stedfastly after things eternal. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
St. Hermenegild teaches us that constancy and sacrifice are the best arguments for the Faith and the surest way to win souls to God.
In Seville, Spain, St. Hermenegild, Martyr. He was the son of Liuvigild, the Arian king of the Visigoths. He was imprisoned when he confessed the Catholic faith. When he refused to take communion from the Arian bishop during the Easter service, his perfidious father ordered that he be brought down with an axe. Thus he left this earthly realm and entered Heaven as a king and martyr
Prince Hermenegild, son of Leovigild, King of the Visigoths, was converted from the Arian heresy to the Catholic Faith by the preaching of the venerable Leander, Bishop of Seville, one of my [Saint Gregory the Pope's] oldest and dearest friends. Whereupon his Arian father strove, both by gifts and by threats, to persuade him to return to that heresy. And when Hermenegild steadily answered that, having once known the true Faith, he never could abandon it, his father, in a fit of displeasure, deprived him not only of his right to the throne but of all his property. And when even this failed to break the courage of his spirit, he had him put into close confinement, chained by the neck, and his hands shackled. Whereupon the youthful King Hermenegild began to despise his earthly kingdom, and to long eagerly for a heavenly one.
Thus, lying fettered, and wearing a hair-shirt, he besought Almighty God to support him. But when Easter came, his unbelieving father sent an Arian bishop to him at dead of night, who said that if he would receive from his hands this communion of a sacrilegious consecration, by this means he would attain to be restored to his father's favor. But the prince rebuked the Arian bishop, as he deserved.
Whereupon the bishop returned to the Arian father, who was so filled with wrath that he straightway sent his officers to kill the unflinching Confessor of God in the place where he was lying. Which same was done, about the year 585. (Some have disputed the right of the title of Martyr to Hermenegild; inasmuch as he started an armed rebellion against his father, at the time when his father deprived him of his estates because he had become a Catholic, and pursuant to which rebellion his father made him prisoner. But as Saint Gregory of Tours saith, if this were sinful: it was blotted out by his brave sufferings and death for the Faith.)
From the Book of Dialogues of Saint Gregory the Pope ... See more