Eucharistic Prayer 1, Sentence 6 C
John and Paul,
Cosmas and Damian)
and all your Saints;
St. Lawrence was a deacon in Rome, martyred August 10, 258. He was responsible for all Church property. When the soldiers tracked him down and demanded he had over all the Church’s wealth, he told them to meet him the next day and he would present it. He quickly sold all the Church’s goods, giving the money to the poor. The next day the soldiers demanded to see the Church’s wealth, and he waved his hands around pointing to the poor saying “here is the church’s wealth”. As they burned him alive over a fire, he said “that side’s done, you can turn me over now.”
St Chrysogonus was martyred about the same time in Aquileia. He taught the faith to the famed woman Anastasia, who will also be martyred. These saints, though not killed in Rome, were nonetheless very popular in Rome.
Sts. John and Paul were martyred in Rome on June 26, in 361, 362, or 363. That’s about all we know for certain about them — but the date of their death is important as a lesson in the dangers of overly simplified history! A common but false version of early Christian history goes “In 313 Constantine became a Christian and made Christianity the official religion of the empire. All Christians lived in peace from then on....” WRONG. In 313, Emperor Constantine declared that the Christian religion would be tolerated throughout the empire. But just fifty years later Emperor Julian (the apostate) abandoned the faith and carried out a vicious persecution, during which John and Paul were martyred!
Sts. Cosmas and Damian were Arabian twins who became doctors — and by accepting no pay for their services brought many to the Catholic faith. During many tortures to get them to renounce the faith, God protected them from injury due to water, fire, air, and time on a cross. Eventually, on September 27, 287, they were beheaded. Their fame spread from Syria to Rome, where they are honored to this day.
“And all your saints;” This long sentence begins “In communion with those whose memory we venerate...”. This little phrase “and all YOUR saints” reminds us that we are in communion with saints who are not remembered by us — but they are each remembered by God! Don’t worry about earthly fame, but develop primarily your relationship with God.
Fr Jim Dubrouillet
on Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 5:57AM