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DAILY QUOTE for May 3, 2015

The Sign of the Cross is formidable to the devil, because...

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May 3

The Sign of the Cross
is formidable to the devil, because
by the Cross we escape from him.
We should make the Sign of the Cross with great respect.
We begin with the forehead: it is the head, creation – the Father;
then the heart: love, life, redemption – the Son;
then the shoulders: strength – the Holy Ghost.
Everything reminds us of the Cross.

St. John Vianney


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SAINT OF THE DAY

Sts. Philip and James

James the Lesser held a prominent position in the early c...

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Sts. Philip and James

Phillip, seemingly a disciple of John the Baptist, was the third apostle, after Andrew and Peter, whom Christ Our Lord called to follow Him. A family man, St. Chrysostom says of him that he still found time to meditate on the law and the prophets, which study prepared him to recognize the expected Messiah. Mentioned several times in the Gospel of John, we get a glimpse of the Apostle Phillip as a man of an amiable, earnest and circumspect disposition.

Immediately after being chosen, he seeks out Nathaniel to tell him of his great discovery. On meeting with disdainful doubt on Nathaniel’s part, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46) Phillip is neither frustrated nor irritated but says simply, “Come and see.”

At the multiplication of the loaves and the fish, Our Lord singles him out, “Whence shall we buy bread that they may eat?” to which Phillip replied soberly, “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little” (John 6:5-7).

In his ardent love and desire to see the Father, he asks Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father…” to which Our Lord replies calling him by name, “…Philip, he that sees me sees the Father also…” (John 14:8-9)

Phillip must have lived to an advanced age as St. Polycarp, who was only converted in the year 80, held conversations with him. He seems to have preached in Greece, Phrygia, and Syria, and suffered martyrdom in Hierapolis.

James called “the lesser” because he seems to have been younger than James the Greater, was a brother of John and was also known as “James the Just”.

He was son of Alpheus of Cleophas and Mary, a relative of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which seems to make him a cousin of Jesus. In Scriptures he is called a “brother” of the Lord, a title the Jews often used for close relatives.

James the Lesser held a prominent position in the early church, a man whom the Apostle Paul consulted. According to tradition, he was Bishop of Jerusalem and was present at the Council of Jerusalem in the year 50, where at the instance of Peter, he officially pronounced that gentiles accepting baptism need not be circumcised.

Tradition has also always recognized James the Lesser as the author of the epistle that bears his name.

The historian Josephus, records that James earned his crown of martyrdom in the year 62, when he was stoned to death in Jerusalem.

WEEKLY STORY

Humility Is Compatible with the Rich Dress of One’s Office*

Saint Francis de Sales, the bishop of Geneva, while on a...

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Humility Is Compatible with the Rich Dress of One’s Office*

Saint Francis de Sales, the bishop of Geneva, while on a journey during Lent, went to the church attached to a monastery of Capuchin friars. He arrived at sermon time; the preacher had taken ostentation in dress as his sermon’s theme and was inveighing vehemently against prelates and ecclesiastical dignitaries who, instead of setting an example of humility, wore splendid garments.

When the sermon ended, the bishop went into the sacristy and summoned the preacher. Once they were alone, Saint Francis said, “Reverend Father, your discourse was edifying. It may also be true that we who are in authority in the Church are guilty of sins from which the inmates of the cloister are exempt. Nevertheless, I consider it highly unwise to say such things as you did on this subject from the pulpit, to the common people. Moreover, I wish to call your attention that for many reasons it is a matter of necessity that the princes of the Church should keep up an appearance befitting their rank. Besides, one never knows what may be hidden beneath a silken robe.”  Saint Francis unbuttoned the upper part of his purple cassock, and let the monk see that he wore a ragged hair shirt next to his skin. “I show you this,” Saint Francis added, “so that you may learn that humility is quite compatible with the rich dress of one’s office. From henceforth see that you are less harsh in your judgments and more prudent in your speech.”

If the dignitaries of the Church were wretchedly dressed, they would lose the respect due to themselves and to their office. Therefore it is not only permissible, but obligatory upon them, to dress in accordance with the official rank they hold.

* Adapted from Father Francis Spirago’s Anecdotes and Examples Illustrating the Catholic Catechism (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1904), 187–188.

Saint Francis de Sales, the bishop of Geneva, while on a journey during Lent, went to the church attached to a monastery of Capuchin friars. He arrived at sermon time; the preacher had taken ostentation in dress as his sermon’s theme and was inveighing vehemently against prelates and ecclesiastical dignitaries who, instead of setting an example of humility, wore splendid garments.